The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) have confirmed the introduction of the new program, ‘Road to Asian Games’ for the upcoming 2022 Asian Games. In addition, the OCA has confirmed again the appointment of the AESF as the only Technical Delegate who will take charge of all the matters of technical conduct for Esports events at the 2022 Asian Games.
The AESF will be the exclusive organizer of ‘Road to Asian Games’, the official qualifier program and competition of esports to the Asian Games final. The AESF is the first Esports federation to introduce a direct pathway, ‘Road to Asian Games,’ whereby event title selection and confirmation will be decided by AESF and allow publishers to be part of an Olympic event such as the Asian Games. The campaign will begin in Hangzhou 2022, and with AESF to continue the organization of Esports through to Nagoya 2026, Doha 2030, and beyond. This initiative will be the first of its kind to bring fair and equal opportunities to all publishers and advance esports developments not just to Asia, but worldwide.
With Esports making its debut as a medal event at the Asian Games, the AESF ‘Road to Asian Games’ campaign will also extend beyond the competition scenes. This campaign will lay the foundation in bringing the Olympic Spirit to esports and introduce an education program for participating Esports athletes to share the Olympic Movement and Values not just in Asia, but globally. With plans for the promotion, sustainability and legacies underway, the emphasis will be on education and development in Esports. The key area of focus will be grassroots development, inclusion programs, career pathways, health and wellbeing support, as well as athlete’s rights and protection.
The AESF is excited to accelerate the esports movement from competitive video gaming events into official sports events with participation in the Continental Games. The AESF plans to include virtual and simulating sports to the ‘Road to Asian Games’ and finals competition as a demonstration event, which will further encourage and expand esports scope from traditional titles which are recognized as a console, computer, or mobile esports game events. This inclusion will also aim to encourage both sports and esports community to engage in physical activity and promote mental wellbeing.
To officialize the partnership for the ‘Road to Asian Games’ campaign and the confirmation on the roles & responsibilities of AESF, an official Signing Ceremony was held with the OCA Director-General Dr. Husain A H Z Al-Musallam, OCA Director of Sports Mr. Haider A H E Farman, AESF President Mr. Kenneth Fok, and AESF Director-General Sebastian Lau in attendance.
Announcing the partnership, Director General of OCA Dr. Husain AHZ Al-Musallam said “It is a great pleasure to officially announce our partnership between OCA and AESF for the new Esports program for our Asian Games, and OCA will provide full support for successful Esports events at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. We wish the best to our partner AESF on the journey ahead,” he added.
In line with this partnership, the OCA reconfirms that the AESF is the sole official governing body of esports in Asia and will be fully responsible for all technical aspects of esports competitions at the Asian Games as well as any other OCA events.
“I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the continuous support and trust from the OCA. I believe that the Asian Games presents the best stage for us to share Olympic Values with the Esports community and we aim to make our Esports communities develop further through this opportunity. Also, we look forward to a successful collaboration with OCA as well as LOC.” said Fok in a speech during the signing.
Disclosing AESF’s role and responsibility, OCA Director of Sports Haider A H E Farman added, “Leading up to the Asian Games, the Asian Electronic Sports Federation will have the leading role and take full responsibility in the selection of esports titles in collaboration with the OCA. From the qualifying rounds to the grand finals of each esports event, rest assured that the OCA and AESF, together with LOC will work hand-in-hand, ensuring successful esports events for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022.”
Sebastian Lau of AESF further conveyed his gratitude during the ceremony, “As the Asian Federation, the AESF is honored to be organizing the esports qualifiers and the Technical Delegate for the upcoming Asian Games. We will start from Hangzhou, and I am looking forward to exploring more opportunities together with all of you and make the evolution of esports further in Nagoya 2026, Doha 2030, and beyond.”
More than just an Esports event, the ‘Road to Asian Games’ and finals at the 19th Asian Games exhibits the growth of Esports from a competitive gaming event to an official sports event and the AESF, with the full support of OCA and LOC, will assure the most competitive and extraordinary esports event to date.