Esports Announced As Medal Sport At 2022 Asian Games

IESF is pleased to share that Esports is back to the Asia Games! IESF’s Asian Confederation, the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF), is proud to officially confirm the inclusion of esports in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China as an official medal sport. This development means all medals won under the esports category count directly into a country’s overall tally in the medal standings.

Approved during the 39th OCA General Assembly, the decision is certainly great news for the esports scene, in particular, the Asian esports community. This outcome is a step forward in the right direction as the esports community have been striving hard for the past few years in not only bringing esports into the mainstream limelight, but also a step closer to the biggest stage of all, the Olympics. In attendance at the OCA General Assembly meeting is the President Mr. Kenneth Fok and Director General Mr. Sebastian Lau of AESF.

This achievement is the result of several years of collective effort involving not only the AESF, but also the unyielding support from the Olympic Council of Asia, AESF member associations, local organizing committee and other collaborative partners. For that, we are forever grateful.

Esports being featured in a multi-sports event isn’t new since making its debut in 2007 at the Asian Indoor Games. It was then followed by esports’ recent foray at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan and the Asian Games in 2018. In 2019, at the Manila SEA Games made history as for the first time ever at SEA Games, esports was included as an official sport in a regional multi-sports event and the momentum carries on as in 2021 with esports again being part of the festivities at the 2021 AIMAG in Chonburi, Thailand and 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Especially at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, esports athletes were accorded the same status and treatment as their traditional sports colleagues and this significantly changed the perspective of esports and boosted its image especially among non-enthusiasts.

Conducted online due to the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 39th OCA General Assembly focused on the growing trend and influence of esports. AESF presented its Exclusive Esports Report and video presentation chronicling the development and progress that they have made throughout Asia so far. Also, AESF stressed the importance of the Asia continent as the core region to fully harness the potential and achieve common goals of the esports community in the world.

In a video message, the OCA’s Asian Games Director, Mr. Haider Farman said: “It is a great pleasure and honour for me to bring you the good news that electronic sports has been included in the Hangzhou Asian Games 2022 sports programme. It will be a great honour for everybody to have you participating in these Asian Games as players, as officials and technical delegate members. I hope that electronic sports will add value to the Asian Games – and I am sure it will in the future, during the Asian Games 2022 and even beyond that. We are looking forward to cooperating with the Asian Electronic Sports Federation during the Asian Games and before.”

Commenting on this historic move, the AESF President, Mr. Kenneth Fok said , “I am thrilled for this news and fully welcome it. This success story will be celebrated by AESF and all in the esports community together. Our past successes are rightfully commended but we always look forward to more achievements for our entire esports community. Seeing esports returning to the Asian Games in 2022 is a great landmark to achieve following years of hard work and commitment. The involvement of esports at the upcoming Asian Games elevates Esports to the next level by aligning itself with Olympic values of determination, inspiration, excellence, and solidarity. A special thank you to the OCA for entrusting us with this honour, and we promise to make the best out of this opportunity.”

The addition of esports at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou not only represents the synergy between AESF and OCA in championing esports, but also OCA’s commitment in evolving and progressing with the disruptive times. The wholehearted thanks to OCA is offered again for the confidence and entrust upon us as the sole Asian esports federation for OCA games.

Esports is closer to its rightful position in the competitive sporting scene and we look forward to a continuous and concentrated effort from everyone involved.

Originally published on: Sat, 19 Dec 2020 16:46:59 +0000