I am sure it is very hard for the majority of you to image eSports events being featured together with real sports. Still, it seems as though it will happen. Sooner than anyone expected, that's for sure! With eSports and eSports betting both enjoying a massive growth, it comes as no surprise that eSports are being pushed into battle with fully fledged sports. A couple of months ago, we even had an amazing special bet coming in at BetWay. The bet was about whether are not CS: GO will appear as a winter Olympics sport by the year 2030. Me, personally, have placed the wager and hope to see it go through. The chances are actually quite high, especially after this wonderful news from Asia. Apparently, eSports will be introduced as a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games.
What are Asian Games?
Also known as XIX ASIAD, 2022 Asian games are scheduled to start on September 10 in Hangzhou, China. It is a multi-sport event that will last for a total of 2 weeks (25th of September). A total of 44 venues will be used for the main events, one of which is quite dear to us (more on this later on). For now, let's just say that XIX ASIAD has a long history and tradition so it is not surprising that it's rapidly growing in popularity not just in China but in the entire Asia as well.
eSports in 2022 Asian Games
Here comes the important part. You see, The Olympic Council of Asia (from now on will be referred to as OCA) has formed a partnership with Alisports, sports department of Alibaba, one of biggest online retail companies in the country. On 17th of April, they announced even bigger news – the formal introduction of eSports to the 2022 Asian Games.
Next year, Asian games are being held in Indonesia and there, eSports will live through their introduction to the public. The first inclusion of eSports on such an event will bear the “demonstration sport” prefix. However, the second part of OAC and Alisports' agreement states that on the very next Asian Games (those in 2022), eSports will be a fully fledged medal event, ranking together with all others featured on the games.
Reasons behind this?
Obviously, the main reason behind this is the rapid growth of eSports over the course of the last couple of years. That's especially present in Asia, with South Korea leading the charge of eSports development and marketing. This statement was also confirmed by the OCA: “…(the partnership reflects) the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth”
We are left to see what sort of reaction stirs up after the demonstration of eSports in 2022. One thing is for sure – this could be a huge jumping board for entire eSports industry. Even more so considering Asian Games are the second biggest multi-sport competition in the world, right behind The Olympic Games. Incheon, South Korea was the center of last Asian games where 10,000 athletes and whopping 45 national teams competed for the medals.
What could this mean for eSports betting industry?
One thing is for sure, eSports betting industry could greatly benefit from the 2022 The Asian Games. Undoubtedly, even at the 2018 Asian Games where eSports will be demonstrated, eSports betting will flourish with live coverage and a massive viewership. Things will only improve for the 2022 Asian Games, that's for sure. Especially considering the possible growth of both eSports and betting industries until then.
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About the Author: Article written by Hipster Jesus, eSports enthusiast and an active member of the CS: GO community. In his free time, he likes to rush B on competitive servers and scream “CYKA BLYAT” at trolls. Contact “Hipster Jesus” on Twitter.