Earlier this week, the 39th General Assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) held in Muscat recognized Esports and has been approved for inclusion as a medaled sport in the 19th annual Asian Games 2022 set to be staged in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25 next year. During the meeting, it was announced that break dancing and esports were approved to be included Asian Games.
According to the announcement, esports will join “intellectual titles” of the event alongside chess, and break dancing will be added as “dance sport.” Official game titles to be played during the event have not been disclosed as of this writing. Earlier, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced the inclusion of breakdancing, as an Olympic sport for the first time at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
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The Asian games committee has yet to announce which esports titles will be included in the event. “We trust you. We have confidence that with you we can deliver one of the best Asian Games,” said OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah. Previously, Esports appeared at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia although not an official medal event but as a demonstration sport.
The OCA approved the proposal of adding Esports and break dance to the official program, categorizing Esports and break dance as mind sport and dancesport respectively. The two additional disciplines means the 19th edition of the Asian Games in Hangzhou will cover 61 disciplines across 40 sports. Meanwhile, medals won in the competitions will count for the athletes’ country on the medal table.
Details if whether video games are included and how competitions will take place will be confirmed after further discussion. Two years ago, five video games – League of Legends, Arena of Valor, Pro Evolution of Soccer 2018, StarCraft II, Hearthstone and Clash Royale – were chosen for Jakarta. China won golds in LOL and Arena of Valor.
The Asian Games are international sporting events in Asia. It is held every four years and is organized by the OCA under the IOC certification. It is the IOC, which has 44 sports, making it a curse of the larger sport only after the Olympics. In the past, the IOC has been hesitant to include esports in the Olympics for various reasons, including the prevalence of violent content.