Esports added as a medal event by Asian Games

Rightly or wrongly, legitimacy is often in the eye of the beholder. And when it comes to with those who tend to be stuck in the past rather than looking toward the future, that couldn’t more true when it comes to esports. To some video games have always been and will always be a time waster—which isn’t to belittle the fact that as time wasters go, there are few things that are more fun. But to others Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Rocket League are a form of legitimate sports. And that makes this morning’s 2022 Asian Games news extremely important.

Organizers have announced that they’ve made esports a medal event for the games.

Also known by the name Asiad, the Asian Games is a continent-spanning multi-sport event that—as the with the Olympics—take place every four years. Sports rage from diving and baseball to dragon boat racing and field hockey.

Since the formation of the Asian Games in 1951 46 countries have competed in the various sports. And now we can add esports to the list.

In announcing the 2022 Asian Games news, Asian Games director Haider Farman said, “It would be a great honor for everybody to participate in the games as players and technical officials. I hope that esports would add value.”

This won’t be the first time that esports have been part of the Asian Games. It was on the table as a demonstration sport in 2018. What’s new is that it’s now going to be a medaled event. And that it gives it a legitimacy it didn’t enjoy before.

Asian Games takes esports step forward

Asian Electronic Sports Federation Kenneth Fok hailed the announcement as a major step forward.

“This isn’t only a success story for AESF alone, but the Esports community as a whole,” he said. “Our past successes are rightfully celebrated, but we always look forward to bigger and better achievements. Seeing Esports returning to the Asian Games in 2022 is a great landmark to achieve following years of hard work and commitment.”

The 2022 Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, China.

Up on the legitimacy bucket list, the Olympics. Dare to dream.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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