E-sports to be a medal event at Asian Games; India banned PUBG included

E-sports will be an official medal sport at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China scheduled for September 2022. As per a press release by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the Asian Games will have eight medal events, plus two demonstration games in the e-sports category. This is the second time that a multi-sport event will feature e-sports as a medal event. Earlier, the 2019 South East Asian Games featured e-Sports as a medal event.

A Virtual Olympic Series was held as a non-medal event at Tokyo Olympics, this year. There are discussions of making e-Sports a medal in the upcoming Olympics as early as the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Games. E-sports at this point have no global governing body, which the IOC requires for approval.

The OCA announcement of the games titles was made on the first day of the two-day Chefs de Mission Seminar video conference for the 19th Asian Games on Wednesday, September 8. The Director-General of the OCA, Mr. Husain Al-Musallam, said: “We hope that this announcement allows all participating teams ample time to prepare and equip themselves ahead of the qualifying stages. I believe we have ticked all the right boxes ensuring a high level of competition which promises great viewing for enthusiasts and casuals alike. We at the OCA are looking forward to working closely with our friends at the Asian Electronic Sports Federation and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee to ensure a successful execution of the esports event at the 2022 Asian Games.”

The eight official events, and publishers, are:

1、Arena of Valor Asian Games Version

2、Dota 2

3、Dream Three Kingdoms 2

4、EA SPORTS FIFA branded soccer games

5、HearthStone

6、League of Legends

7、PUBG Mobile Asian Games Version

8、Street Fighter V

The two demonstration events are:

9、AESF Robot Masters-Powered by Migu

10、AESF VR Sports-Powered by Migu

The Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) has been appointed Technical Delegate of the e-sports competition at the 19th Asian Games by the OCA. The AESF will be in charge of the qualifying competition and for the operation and management of the esports competition in Hangzhou. Esports Federation of India (ESFI) which is the Indian national body for the promotion of e-Sports is a member of AESF.

Finally, we are here with esports at the Asian Games’22; 8 esports titles means 24 medals. For titles like Hearthstone; EA FIFA, DOTA2, League of Legends, Street Fighter, we have very strong chances of winning Medals for India; Tirth Mehta who got bronze medal last time (2018), will be able to convert that bronze to a Gold this time. We will soon launch the “Road to Asian Games” program in line with AESF, to identify the best of the talent and train them for the main event at Hangzhou, China in September 2022. Thankfully we have enough time at our hands (unlike last time) to have the best of the players represent India at Asian Games’22“, said Lokesh Suji, director at ESFI.

Titles like AOV (Asian Games Version) and PUBG Mobile (Asian Games Version) were banned by the Indian government last year citing national security and scrapping of user data by these apps. ESFI is also awaiting clarity on these two games. PUBG was ultimately relaunched with an Indian-specific version. So as of date, it is unclear how gamers from India can legally play AOV and PUBG Asian Games Version.

Like every other sport in the event, there will be a national qualifier to get to Hangzhou. EFSI is working through the process of figuring out the national qualifiers for all the titles and the winners from India will most likely take part in regional qualifiers to participate in China.