Esports will be a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games

eSports to be a medal event at 2022 Asian Games

The news that eSports will be included in the Asian Games is viewed as a step in the right direction.

The move is the result of a partnership between Alisports, the sports wing of e-commerce giant Alibaba, and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

Last year, Alibaba invested over 100 million yuan ($14.5 million) to launch the World Electronic Sports Games.

"We look forward to further collaboration with Alisports in regards to digital sports concepts along with sporting events". The deal, signed on Monday and believed to be worth multi-million dollars, was penned at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, which is also the host city for the 2022 edition of the continental event. Representatives from the OCA also confirmed that esports would feature as a demonstration sport in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in September.

But the eSports that will be demonstrated at the 2018 games include Federation Internationale de Football Association 2017, a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and a real-time strategy game.

E-sports are set for much bigger growth in China.

This is a major step toward Olympic consideration and comes a year after two organisations, the global eSports Federation (IESF) and worldwide eGames Committee (IEGC), submitted requests to the IOC for information on how esports could become an Olympic event. We hope that us jumping over and getting into this will encourage some of those schools to follow suit.

Citing global research firm Newzoo, esports revenues reached $463 million a year ago, with expectations of sales to reach $1.1 billion worldwide by 2019.

E-sports is a dynamic and fast-growing sector in China and internationally.

While initially popular as a spectator sport in Asia - more than 40,000 people attended the 2014 League of Legends World Championship finals in Seoul - competitive gaming now draws tens of millions of spectators to online platforms and real-world venues, including New York's Madison Square Garden, the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the MGM Grand Garden Arena on the Las Vegas Strip.