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Esports Titles Become Medal Events at the 2022 Asian Games

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Esports Titles Become Medal Events at the 2022 Asian Games
South Korea's Damwon team after winning the LoL World Video Game Championships final on October 31, 2020. Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP

Esports competitors and enthusiasts are finally gaining the recognition they deserve, with esports titles including Dota 2, League of Legends, Street Fighter, and FIFA becoming official sports at the 2022 Asian Games.

The esports titles mentioned plus an additional four games will become medal events at the next Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Dota 2, LoL, and Street Fighter Added to the 2022 Asian Games Medal Events

Esports will make its debut as an official medal sport at the Asian Games, and the Olympic Council of Asia has recently selected the games which will feature at the event.

Street Fighter, League of Legends, Dota 2, and Hearthstone are some of the main titles included for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, September 2022.

Arena of Valor, Dream Three Kingdoms 2, FIFA, and PUBG Mobile will also join these titles.

Additionally, the games will showcase two demonstration events – AESF VR Sports and AESF Robot Masters; these demonstrations are powered by China Mobile streaming brand Migu.

“We hope that this announcement allows all participating teams ample time to prepare and equip themselves ahead of the qualifying stages.”, said Husain Al-Musallam (Director-General of the Olympic Council).

“I believe we have ticked all the right boxes ensuring a high level of competition which promises great viewing for enthusiasts and casuals alike.”

A general view of a Dota 2 event in China in 2019. In the last decade, esports events have attracted thousands of fans. Photo by STR / AFP

The Significance of Esports Becoming Medal Events

Esports has been receiving a push to become an actual sport for many years, and now the goal has finally been achieved.

The controversial debate on whether esports deserves to be classed as a sport will continue, and I’m not sure it will ever come to an end.

Esports are passive, players don’t use bodily movement per se, and the physical aspect is significantly different from a typical sport.

However, similar to chess, esports deserves recognition as a highly skilled game despite the negative side revolving around sports recognition.

The expediential growth of esports has been overwhelming, while Olympic sports and a general interest in athletes are on a downward spiral.

If anything, esports can boost the public interest in sports. Whether you believe professional players should be called pro athletes or not, there are benefits on both sides in awarding medals to esports competitors.

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The Asian Games 2022 will propel esports into the spotlight, specifically when age groups have no limits attached to them yet.

The esports industry is worth over $1 billion, meaning that other countries will definitely accept this concept, especially from an investment perspective.

Regular sports need to understand that esports isn’t the enemy, and there are considerably more positives to take away from its expansion. Esports don’t require recognition, but other sports should realize they need esports to continue growing for their own success.