MOBA giants Dota 2 and League of Legends (LoL) will be headlining the list of esports titles to be played in the debut esports medal event of the 19th Asian Games, which will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 2022.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) revealed on Wednesday (8 September) that the esports medal event in the 2022 Asian Games will feature competitions in Dota 2, LoL, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile, Arena of Valor, Street Fighter V, Hearthstone, EA Sports FIFA, and Dream of Three Kingdoms 2.
PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor will notably be played using versions that will be made exclusively for the Asian Games.
The OCA has also appointed the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) as the technical delegate of the esports competition at the 19th Asian Games.
The AESF will oversee the qualifying competitions as well as the operation and management of the esports events in Hangzhou. In addition, the federation will also be hosting two demonstration events for AESF Robot Masters and AESF VR Sports alongside the esports medal event.
“We hope that this announcement allows all participating teams ample time to prepare and equip themselves ahead of the qualifying stages. I believe we have ticked all the right boxes ensuring a high level of competition which promises great viewing for enthusiasts and casuals alike," OCA Director General Husain Al-Musallam said in a statement.
“We at the OCA are looking forward to working closely with our friends at the Asian Electronic Sports Federation and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee to ensure a successful execution of the esports event at the 2022 Asian Games.”
Esports was approved as a new medal event for the 2022 Asian Games by the OCA last December. It was included among the “intellectual” disciplines in the Asian Games, alongside the likes of Chess and Go.
Esports was included in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia as a demonstration event, featuring titles such as League of Legends, StarCraft II, Hearthstone, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, Arena of Valor, and Clash Royale.
As a demonstration event, medals won were not counted towards the official tally.
However, this will not be the first time that esports will be played as a medal event in an official sports setting.
Esports first became an official medal event in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which was held in the Philippines from November to December 2019.
That event featured six esports titles split according to their platforms, namely PC, console, and mobile. Dota 2, StarCraft II, and Hearthstone were the titles for PC, Tekken 7 was the sole title for console, while Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Arena of Valor were the titles for mobile.