eSports Named Medal Event at 2022 Asian Games
eSports will be an exhibition sport at the 2018 Asian games and a full medal event at the 2022 games, according to local media reports.
The Olympic Council of Asia announced a partnership on Monday with Alisports—part of Chinese online retail giant Alibaba—to introduce eSports as a demonstration sport in 2018 and as a full medal event at the 2022 games in Hangzhou, according to a report by the Guardian newspaper.
The OCA said in a press release that the decision reflects “the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth.”
“The OCA has always been committed to the inheritance, development, and improvement of Asian sports,” OCA President Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah said in a statement. “And we look forward to the forward-thinking concepts of sports by Alisports, who will be helping us with their strength and experience in eSports.”
The Asian Games are recognized by the International Olympic Committee and considered the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympics.
In another eSports development, members of the University of Minnesota’s League of Legends eSports club say they want the school to recognize eSports as an official sport.
According to the Minnesota Daily, the team wants the university’s athletics department to grant them a devoted team lounge, open 24/7, with increased internet speeds. Team members say their players will be better equipped to compete against school League of Legends teams with similar funding.
And in a related matter, a study by industry-intelligence firm SuperData Research found that gaming content on live and on-demand video sites will generate $4.6 billion in revenues this year.
The study found that the worldwide audience for gaming-related livestreams and YouTube creations is about 665 million.
“’Gaming Video Content’ represents a highly desirable market to advertisers due to the fact that its audience is young, tech-savvy, and willing to spend money,” SuperData research manager Carter Rogers said in a press statement. “Companies who do not advertise to GVC viewers risk missing potential customers as they turn to streams over legacy media. With a global audience that reaches more viewers than HBO, Netflix, ESPN and Hulu combined, brands could be losing out on the next primetime viewing activity, not unlike TV or sports viewing at their peaks.”