The Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) has confirmed that esports will be included in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China as an official medal sport. This means that all medals that will be won under the esports category, will count towards the country’s overall medal tally. While esports were included in the 2018 edition of the Asian Games, the medals were not counted towards a country’s overall tally.
Lokesh Suji, Director ESFIm VP-Asian Esports Federation stated, “what better news than this, for not only the Indian Esports Athletes/Fans but the whole of Asia. ESFI has been participating in all the esports events done under the banner of OCA since the beginning (other than Turkmenistan). It was in 2007 when OCA included esports in Asian Indoor Games held in Incheon who would have thought that esports will become such a big craze world over since.” He also added, “we are confident that this time we will win many medals including a couple of Golds. ESFI & AESF both are committed to develop, support and grow esports not only in India but the region.”
The announcement was made at the 39th OCA (Olympic Council of Asia) assembly. The move should help esports become more legitimate in the eyes of the Olympic Committee and should help in its bid to be included in what is arguably the biggest sporting event in the world. It should be noted that Intel has initially planned to host the Intel World Open tournament just ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that were supposed to be held in July this year. Following a qualifier at Katowice, Poland, the finals for the event were supposed to be held at Tokyo, Japan. However, as with pretty much every other sporting event, the Olympics were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Olympics will now be held next year.