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Asian Games 2022 to feature eSports events
eSports will feature on the official sports program of the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, following an agreement between sports platform provider the Alisports Group and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
Through this collaboration, the two will work together to introduce this emerging class of competition into the field of traditional sport.
The rise of eSports (electronic sports/video games) is already set to see competions feature as part of the 2017 Ashgabat Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG), and the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. Leveraging its expertise in eSports promotion and event organization, Alisports, as OCA's strategic partner, will be an active participator in helping expand the market for games organized by the association.
Announcing the partnership, OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah stated “the Olympic Council of Asia is committed to the heritage, development and improvement of Asian sports, and we are extremely pleased about the strategic partnership with Alisports.
“We are sure that the extensive organizing capabilities of Alisports, and their experience in eSports, will assist OCA in developing all sports."
According to OCA , eSports to be contested at the 2017 AIMAG this September will include FIFA 2017, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) and Real Time Attack (RTA) gaming types. These are the most popular gaming types among global eSports players and were incorporated into the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG), which was launched by Alisports last year and attracted players from over 100 countries.
Alisports actively promotes eSports and has a long-term goal of introducing these digital competitions into venues and events that have long been showcases for ‘traditional’ sports.
Zhang Dazhong, founder and Chief Execuive of Alisports added “it's our pleasure to work with OCA and we would like to thank them for their faith in Alisports.
“In the future, we will work closely together to develop new modes of developing big games and events, and to provide sponsors with more opportunities and value. We look forward to presenting more exciting video game competitions to not only eSports lovers but also a global audience."
Zhang added that he expects eSports to eventually be featured at the Olympic Games, as digital games tournaments are being more professionally organized, and their competitions more accepted as mainstream entertainment.
He concluded “it's only a matter of time.”
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is the governing body that oversees all sports in Asia . It is one of the five continental associations recognized by the IOC.
Founded in 2015, the Alibaba Sports Group is part of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Goup.
It integrates e-commerce, media, marketing, video, home entertainment, cloud computing and other Internet-enabled technologies to form a sports platform that participates in different aspects of the professional sport industry.
Images: eSports arena (top, courtesy of Populous) and OCA and Alisports representatives mark this week's agreement (below).
The rise of eSports is a feature in the May/June 2017 issue of Australasian Leisure Management.
2nd March 2017 - CHINESE ESPORTS PLAYERS GENERATE US$730 MILLION IN REVENUE
16th February 2017 - NBA TAPS INTO THE FAST GROWING ESPORTS MARKET
21st January 2017 - IOC AND ALIBABA GROUP LAUNCH HISTORIC LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIP
17th September 2015 - OCA CONFIRMS HANGZHOU AS 2022 ASIAN GAMES HOST AS SECRETARY GENERAL STEPS DOWN
10th September 2015 - ALIBABA GROUP LAUNCHES DEDICATED SPORTS VENTURE
6th November 2014 - JAKARTA TO HOST 18TH ASIAN GAMES IN 2018
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