Esports will be a medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games, just like swimming, gymnastics or track and field.
The Asian Games are a multi-sport event held every four years including athletes from 45 nations in Asia. Asian Games sports include Olympic and non-Olympic sports, like paragliding, bowling and jet skiing.
The Olympic Council of Asia gave no further details in a press release but noted the addition is “reflecting the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth.”
Chess and board games were previously but are no longer on the Asian Games program.
Esports will be a demonstration (non-medal) sport at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. China, which usually tops the medal standings, will host the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Esports do not have an international governing body recognized by the International Olympic Committee, the first step to possible Olympic inclusion.
In the fall, Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid chairman Casey Wasserman praised esports.
“We view esports’ immense global popularity and continued advances in digital technologies as tremendous tools for reconnecting millennials with the Olympic movement,” Wasserman said in a press release. “L.A. 2024 will work to ensure technology enhances young people’s sports experiences, instead of replacing them, and becomes a platform for further popularizing Olympic and Paralympic sports.”
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