The Olympic Council of Asia and Alisports of China today announced a strategic partnership to bring the electronic sports video game phenomenon to the official sports programme of the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
eSports, which is enjoyed by millions of youngsters around Asia and the world, has already been added to the OCA’s 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, this September as a demonstration sport.
It will also feature in next year’s 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, again as a demonstration sport. By the time of the 19th Asian Games in 2022, however, eSports will become an official medal sport – reflecting the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth.
Alisports, which was established in 2015 as the Alibaba Sports Group by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, will work closely with the OCA to develop the marketing of eSports. The OCA President, HE Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, said: “The Olympic Council of Asia has constantly been committed to the heritage, development and improvement of Asian sports, and we are extremely pleased about the strategic partnership with Alisports.
“We look forward to further collaboration with Alisports in regards to digital sports concepts along with sporting events. We are sure that the extensive organising capabilities of Alisports, and their experience in eSports, will assist the OCA in developing all sports.”
Alisports founder and CEO Mr. Zhang Dazhong said: “I would like to thank the Olympic Council of Asia for their faith in Alisports. Together we will work on providing the sponsors of the Asian Games with more opportunities and maximizing the market value, so that the OCA enjoys optimum benefits and advantages.”
eSports to be contested at the 5th AIMAG this September include FIFA 2017, MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and RTA (Real Time Attack) gaming types.
Source: Press release
Image source: eslgaming.com, Photographer: Patrick Strack