Esports to award eight titles, 24 medals, in 2022 Asian Games

Eight medal events and two demonstration games will be conducted at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September 2022 as Esports makes its debut in the Continental Games.

The Olympic Council of Asia on Wednesday announced the titles for the debut of esports as an official medal sport at the Asian Games, reflecting the popularity and growth of electronic sports in the region. The announcement of the games titles was made on the first day of the two-day Chefs de Mission Seminar video conference for the 19th Asian Games on Wednesday.

The eight official events, and publishers, are: Arena of Valor Asian Games Version, Dota 2, Dream Three Kingdoms 2, EA SPORTS FIFA branded soccer games, HearthStone, League of Legends, PUBG Mobile Asian Games Version, and Street Fighter V. The two demonstration events are: AESF Robot Masters-Powered by Migu and AESF VR Sports-Powered by Migu, the OCA announced on its website on Wednesday.

The Asian Electronic Sports Federation, which is based in Hong Kong, China, has been appointed Technical Delegate of the esports competition at the 19th Asian Games by the OCA. The AESF will be in charge of the qualifying competition and for the operation and management of the esports competition in Hangzhou.

Originally not in the schedule, esports was added to the Asian Games sports programme at the OCA General Assembly in Muscat, Oman on December 16, 2020. It was a demonstration sport at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia in 2018, meaning that medals did not count in the official medal rankings.

The Director-General of the OCA, Husain Al-Musallam, said: “We hope that this announcement allows all participating teams ample time to prepare and equip themselves ahead of the qualifying stages. I believe we have ticked all the right boxes ensuring a high level of competition which promises great viewing for enthusiasts and casuals alike.”

ESFI seeks govt recognition

Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India (ESFI and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) welcomed the OCA move and took the opportunity to seek Spor’s Ministry’s recognition for esports in the country.

“Finally, we are here with esports at the Asian Games 2022. Eight esports titles mean 24 medals. For titles like Hearthstone; EA FIFA, DOTA2, League of Legends, Street Fighter, we have very strong chances of winning medals for India. Tirth Mehta, who got a bronze medal last time (2018), will be able to convert that bronze to gold this time. We will soo” launch the “Road t” Asian Games” programme in line with AESF, to identify the best of the talent and train them for the main event”at Hangzhou,” he said in a release on Wednesday.

“Thankfully we have enough time at our hands (unlike last time) to have the best of the players represent India at Asian Games 2022. For titles like AOV (Asian Games Version) and PUBG Mobile (Asian Games Version); we are waiting for more inputs to come,”‘he added.

“It’s time for the Sports Ministry to recognise ESFI and our sport. We are confident that we will increase our medals tally this time. ESFI and AESF both are committed to develop, support, and grow esports not only in India but the region,” he further said.