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Esports Returns, Now As Medal Sport At 2022 Asian Games
The Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) is excited to officially announce that esports will be featured as a medal sport in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. This development means all medals won under the esports category count directly into a country’s overall tally in the medal standings.
 
This achievement is the result of several years of collective effort involving not only the AESF, but also the unyielding support from the Olympic Council of Asia, AESF member associates, local organizing committees and other  collaborative partners. For that, we are forever grateful.
 
The announcement whilst welcomed, isn’t a surprising one. Esports have been featured in a multi-sports event since making its debut in 2017 at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. At the Asian Games in 2018, esports made its Asian Games debut by featuring six game titles in Jakarta. 
 
In 2019, the Manila SEA Games made history as for the first time ever, esports was included as a medal sport in a regional multi-sports event. The momentum carries on as in 2021, esports will again be part of the festivities at the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam. Bringing things back to a full circle since its appearance at AIMAG 2017, esports will return to AIMAG in 2021, this time in Chonburi, Thailand.
 
At the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, esports athletes were accorded similar status and treatment as their traditional sports counterparts. This significantly changed the perspective of esports, and boosted its image especially among non-enthusiasts. 
 
Excited with this development, IESPA (Indonesian Electronic Sports Association) President, Eddy Lim conveyed his congratulations to AESF and his counterpart in China for this great news. “On behalf of IESPA and the Indonesian esports community, I am very happy for this development. I hope everything that was achieved in 2018 would provide a solid foundation base to make esports at the 2022 Asian Games a larger and grander event. We are more than happy to share all resources and ideas for our counterparts in Hangzhou should they require any, and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for the esports scene.”
 
Also welcoming the news was Mr. Haider A H E Farman, OCA Director of Sport who said “It would be a great honor for everybody to have (the esports community) participate in the games as players and technical officials. I hope that esports would add value - and I am sure it will for the Asian Games 2022 and beyond that”
 
“The AESF, as continental federation, will be in charge of all technical and operation issues during the Asian Games Hangzhou 2022. I look to cooperate with the AESF, during and before” he added. 
 
Commenting on this historic move, the AESF President, Mr Kenneth Fok said “I am thrilled for this news and fully welcome it. This isn’t only a success story for AESF alone - but the esports community as a whole. Our past successes are rightfully celebrated but we always look forward to bigger and better achievements. Seeing esports returning to the Asian Games in 2022 is a great landmark to achieve following years of hard work and commitment. A special you to the OCA for entrusting us with this honor, and we promise to make the best out of this opportunity”.
 
The addition of esports at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou not only represents the synergy between AESF and OCA in championing esports, but also OCA’s commitment in evolving and progressing with the times. The AESF would like to wholeheartedly thank our colleagues at OCA for the confidence entrusted upon us. Esports is closer to its rightful position in the competitive sporting scene and we look forward to a continuous and concentrated effort from everyone involved.