The Olympic Council of Asia believes the inclusion of electronic sports in the official sports programme of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in 2022 will "add value" to the OCA’s showpiece event.
E-sports, along with breaking, will make their Asian Games debut as full medal sports at Hangzhou 2022 after being approved at the 39th OCA General Assembly in Muscat, Oman on December 16.
The OCA’s Asian Games Director, Mr Haider Farman, is looking forward to welcoming the e-sports community to Hangzhou.
In a video message, Mr Farman said: "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 officials.
"I hope that electronic sports will add value to the Asian Games – and I am sure it will in the future, during the Asian Games 2022 and even beyond that."
The OCA said that the Asian Electronic Sports Federation – the OCA’s partner as a continental sports federation – would be in charge of all technical issues and the operation of the competition in Hangzhou, where there will be six medal events.
"We are looking forward to cooperating with the Asian Electronic Sports Federation during the Asian Games and before," said Mr Farman.
The OCA has pioneered the development and inclusion of e-sports in international multi-sport games, and recognised its broad appeal to a younger generation in a changing sports world.
E-sports first appeared as an official medal sport at the OCA's Asian Indoor Games in Macau, China in 2007 and was a demonstration sport at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia in 2018, meaning the medals did not count in the overall table.
Breaking will also make its Asian Games debut with two events – two years before the high-energy, youth-focused breakdancing competition joins the Olympic Games for the first time at Paris 2024.
The OCA’s 19th Asian Games will run from September 10-25, 2022 and feature 40 sports, 61 disciplines and 482 events.
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