E-sports is set to become an official medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games in Chinese city Hangzhou following the announcement of a strategic partnership between the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and Alisports.
The OCA claims this is a manifestation of the “accelerated development and popularity of this new kind of sport participation among the youth”.
As part of the partnership, e-sports can be due to attribute as a demonstration sport at the next year’s Asian Games in temperate cities Jakarta and Palembang.
Alisports, which was launched in 2015 since the Alibaba Sports Group by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, plans to work closely with the OCA to develop the marketing of e-sports.
“The Olympic Council of Asia has constantly been committed to the heritage, development and advancement of Asian sports, and we are extremely pleased about the strategic partnership with Alisports,” OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah said.
“We look forward to additional cooperation with Alisports in regards to electronic sports concepts together with sporting occasions.
“We are certain that the extensive organising capacities of Alisports, and also their experience within e-sports, will assist the OCA in creating all sports.”
Alisports founder and chief executive Zhang Dazhong added: “I’d like to thank the Olympic Council of Asia for their religion in Alisports.
“Together we’ll work on providing the sponsors of this Asian Games with greater chances and maximising the market value, so that the OCA enjoys optimal benefits and advantages.”
E-sports has already been added to the programme of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) from Turkmenistan’s capital Ashgabat, where it will act as a demonstration sport.
Sheikh Ahmad said that there were more than 350 million individuals playing e-sports around Asia.
A collection of online qualification rounds in four different e-sports will probably be held at national and then regional level by the six regions: West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, East Asia and Oceania.
The six regions will each provide eight qualifiers – 2 in every game – for the last championship in Ashgabat, at which they’ll be united by four Turkmen players to take the field to 52 players.
E-sports to be contested at the fifth variant of the AIMAG, scheduled to occur from September 17 to 27, comprise FIFA 2017, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena along with Real Time Attack.
In January, Alibaba signed a bargain that committed itself on Chinese e-sports for a three-year interval.
It means Changzhou will remain the home of the World Electronics Sports Games (WESG), and this Alibaba launched this past year, for the foreseeable future.
In July of this past year, Alibaba declared a partnership with an International e-Sports Federation (IeSF).
According to The Esports Oberserver, the company has given $150 million (#120 million/$141 million) to e-sports.