Video gaming will be featured as a full sport at the 2022 Asian Games, with competitors in electronic sports set to receive medals for their digital prowess. The Olympic Council of Asia says it will introduce e-sports to the official program of the Asian Games at Hangzhou, China. It will also be a demonstration sport at the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia.
The OCA said the decision reflects “the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth.” The council is collaborating with Alisports, a unit of China’s Alibaba Group, to bring e-sports to the games. No details were given on which video games would be included.
The Asian Games features a wide range of traditional Olympic sports along with others containing more regional appeal. Some of the more obscure sports include sepak takraw, which combines features from soccer and volleyball, and kabaddi, a contact team sport that evolved in and is dominated by India. The sports program has also included a variety of martial arts, contract bridge, jet-ski racing and sport climbing.
The Asian Games also known as Asiad, is a Pancontinental multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia. The Games were regulated by the Asian Games Federation (AGF) from the first Games in New Delhi, India, until the 1978 Games.
Since the 1982 Games they have been organized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), after the breakup of the Asian Games Federation. The Games are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and are described as the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games.
In its history, nine nations have hosted the Asian Games. Forty-six nations have participated in the Games, including Israel, which was excluded from the Games after their last participation in 1974.
The most recent games was held in Incheon, South Korea from 19 September to 4 October 2014,whilethe next games will be held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia from 18 August to 2 September 2018.
Sepak takraw or kick volleyball, is a sport native to Southeast Asia. Sepak takraw differs from the similar sport of Foot volley in its use of a rattan ball and only allowing players to use their feet, knee, chest and head to touch the ball. It is a popular sport in Philippines.