Go ahead and keep mocking e-sports, but they are only getting bigger and more respectable as they keep creating tremendous piles of money. In addition to winning coveted spots on television and earning floor space in casinos, now e-sports are inching toward the Olympic stage, at least in Asia.
“The Olympic Council of Asia and Alisports of China today announced a strategic partnership to bring the Electronic Sports video game phenomenon to the official sports programme of the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China,” declares a press release from earlier this week. “E-Sports, which is enjoyed by millions of youngsters around Asia and the world, has already been added to the OCA’s 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, this September as a demonstration sport.”
By 2022, “e-sports will become an official medal sport” at the Asian Games, which are reportedly the second largest sporting event in the world (right behind The Olympics). And in case you’re wondering, there appear to be no MMOs on the list for this year’s events; it’s just RTS titles, MOBAs, and FIFA 2017, which gets its own genre apparently.