Esports will be an official medals event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. The decision was taken during the 39th OCA General Assembly held last week and means all medals won under the esports category count directly into a country’s overall tally in the standings.Also Read - 821 Sportspersons Are Getting Lifelong Pension, Says Sports Minister

In attendance at the OCA General Assembly meeting is the President Mr. Kenneth Fok and Director General Mr. Sebastian Lau of AESF. Also Read - Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi to be Redeveloped at a Cost of 7,850 Crore

Esports being featured in a multi-sports event isn’t new since making its debut in 2007 at the Asian Indoor Games. It was then followed by esports’ recent foray at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan and the Asian Games in 2018. Also Read - I Regret Becoming a Cyclist, All I Now Want is my Old Life Back: Swaran Singh

In 2019, at the Manila SEA Games made history as for the first time ever at SEA Games, esports was included as an official sport in a regional multi-sports event and the momentum carries on as in 2021 with esports again being part of the festivities at the 2021 AIMAG in Chonburi, Thailand and 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Especially at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, esports athletes were accorded same status and treatment as their traditional sports colleagues and this significantly changed the perspective of esports and boosted its image especially among non-enthusiasts.

Conducted online due to the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 39th OCA General Assembly focused on the growing trend and influence of esports. AESF presented its Exclusive Esports Report and video presentation chronicling the development and progress that they have made throughout Asia so far. Also, AESF stressed the importance of Asia continent as the core region to fully harness the potential and achieve common goals of esports community in the world.

“It is a great pleasure and honour for me to bring you the good news that electronic sports has been included in the Hangzhou Asian Games 2022 sports programme. It will be a great honour for everybody to have you participating in these Asian Games as players, as officials and technical delegate members. I hope that electronic sports will add value to the Asian Games – and I am sure it,” OCA’s Asian Games Director Mr Haider Farman said.

Commenting on this historic move, the AESF President, Mr Kenneth Fok said, “I am thrilled for this news and fully welcome it. This success story will be celebrated by AESF and all in the esports community together. Our past successes are rightfully commended but we always look forward to more achievements for our entire esports community. Seeing esports returning to the Asian Games in 2022 is a great landmark to achieve following years of hard work and commitment. The involvement of esports at the upcoming Asian Games elevates Esports to the next level by aligning itself with Olympic values of determination, inspiration, excellence, and solidarity. A special thank you to the OCA for entrusting us with this honour, and we promise to make the best out of this opportunity.”

Lokesh Suji, Director ESFI and VP-Asian Esports Federation said, “What better news than this, for not only the Indian Esports Athletes/Fans but the whole of Asia. ESFI has been participating in all the esports events done under the banner of OCA since the beginning (other than Turkmenistan). It was in 2007 when OCA included esports in Asian Indoor Games held in Incheon who would have thought that esports will become such a big craze world over since.”