Esports at the Olympics? Seem too unrealistic? Well, do not be so sure about that because it might actually happen. According to the media reports from China, it appears that Alisports and OCA (Olympic Council of Asia) have reached an agreement about eSports becoming part of the 2022 Asian Games that will be held in Hangzhou, China.
Besides making the eSports a part of the Asian Games in 2022, this deal has also made some other games such as 2017 Ashgabat Asian Indoors, 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, and Martial Arts Games a part of the Hangzhou Games.
According to the president of the Olympic Council of Asia, Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah, the organizers are looking forward to future cooperation with Alisports to place digital sports alongside traditional sporting events.
Before this deal between Alisports and the Olympic Council of Asia, Alisports has signed another significant deal back in January with Changzhou. This deal marked the start of the ten-year partnership between the two sides. The biggest feature of this contract is the fact that Changzhou will be the host of the World Electronic Sports Games or WESG that will be held in the next five years. With very good geostrategic positions, Changzhou being very close to Shanghai, it represents a perfect venue for this sort of an event.
Not Everyone Supports the Idea
People from all over the world have voiced their opinion about eSports being featured in the Olympics. Many believe that eSports should not be included in the program of the Olympic Games. The furthest that they were ready to go was to organize the eGames, but that project failed because it did not get the best reception and soon it was abandoned altogether.
However, over the last couple of years, Alisports has invested a lot of time, money, and effort in promoting eSports industry in China. This deal with the Olympic Council of Asia about making eSports featured at the 2022 Asian Games is a huge thing for the eSports industry in general.
The deal does not mean that eSports will become a part of the Olympic Games program anytime soon, but it is a good and very important step towards achieving that goal. The goal might still be miles away at this point. However, the Olympic Council of Asia and Asian Games have been officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee, and since these Games will be held under the Olympic flag, it is certainly a significant positive movement in the right direction.
What Competitions to Expect?
One issue that this deal’s announcement didn’t mention is what games will actually be featured at 2022 Asian Games. Since the event will mostly attract Asian audience, it is expected that titles such as League of Legends or Dota 2 might take the spotlight.
However, this goes against the words of Jace Hall who said that the mass audience should easily understand the games featured at this event. We all know that the previously mentioned titles are not that easy to understand for casual viewers, so it will be interesting to see what will be the final decision by the organizers.