Thumbs-up for electronic sports at the 2022 Asian Games

Randall Craig
April 19, 2017

This is not Alibaba's first venture into esports, past year they formed the World Electronic Sports (WESG), investing as much as $ 150 million.

The Olympic Council of Asia says it will introduce esports to the official program of the Asian Games at Hangzhou, China. The Olympic Council of Asia will debut eSports as a demonstration event at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. Federation Internationale de Football Association 2017 is the only game confirmed to appear at AIMAG, but the event will also include a multiplayer online battle arena game (such as League of Legends or Dota 2) and a real-time strategy game (such as StarCraft 2).

E-sports has already been added to the programme of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat, where it will serve as a demonstration sport.

The OCA, which calls this a "new form of sports participation", is yet to draft the competition rules and dope testing procedures, which is mandatory as per the International Olympic Committee criteria. "And we look forward to the forward-thinking concepts of sports by Alisports, who will be helping us with their strength and experience in eSports". For the AIMAG, which will be held from September 17 to 27, a series of online qualification rounds across the three e-sports will be held in two parts: first at a national level followed by region-specific. It put forth more than $14.5m to organize the World Electronic Sports Games in China's Changzhou province, where roughly 60,000 players from 120 countries and regions competed for a $5.5m purse in January.

There has been some traction when it comes to esports one day being recognized as an Olympic sport.

ESports generated $493m in revenue with a global audience of about 320m people in 2016, the market research firm Newzoo reported a year ago.

The partners have said by 2022, e-sports will become an official medal sport. Last year, its sports-centered arm Alisports invested $150 million into esports.

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