Esports and breakdancing have joined the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou 2022. The proposal was approved on Wednesday during the 39th Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly meeting held in the Sultanate of Oman, Muscat.
At the meeting, the OCA approved the proposal submitted by the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee on optimizing the competition program and adding two more events, esports and breakdancing, while keeping the 40 major events unchanged, according to the announcement. Esports and chess will belong to the same “intellectual titles” event category, while breakdancing will be categorized as “sports dance.”
In addition, OCA has confirmed that six esports game titles will be added to the event, while the specific game titles to be played during the event have not been disclosed.
This could be a milestone for the esports industry as it becomes an official medal event in the Olympic Games, following the 18th Jakarta Asian Games in 2018 where esports was selected as a demonstration event.
In fact, there are also several large esports companies based in Hangzhou, including LGD Gaming, and Bilibli’s Overwatch franchise team Hangzhou Spark. Bilibili also established its esports headquarters in Hangzhou Future Science Town.
Hangzhou, tagged as the “Silicon Valley” of China, has attracted multiple IT giants including Alibaba Group, Baidu and NetEase to set up local branch offices there. Hangzhou is pushing its way to the front of the global innovation race in modern fields like artificial intelligence, smart manufacturing, electric vehicles and e-commerce.
In general, it’s a positive signal for China to put esports in the spotlight of the public as well as a good chance for the Hangzhou Asian Games to connect to a new generation of fans.