I have been going back and forth with myself on how I feel about the term ESports and whether I consider it an actual sport or not. I cannot deny that competitive gaming has taken major strides to bolster itself as a legitimate professional career. Stadiums have been made specifically for ESports, players are getting millions of dollars as prize money, and even scholarships are being offered just to play video games.
Now we have come to the point where ESports are crossing over into the realm of athletic sports. The first step was getting ESports on TV, and XGames was one of the first athletic competition platforms in the states to add video games to their event schedule. Now ESports will be an official medal event in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
The Olympic Council of Asia made this decision April 17th, and will first test competition at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (or AIMAG) with FIFA 2017. DOTA, League of Legends, and Starcraft 2 will also be on hand.
The Asian Games is second in size compared to the official Olympic Games, so this is still a very big deal in terms of seeing how well this plays out. I’m still on the fence how I feel about ESports competing side by side to physical competition, but if this goes well we might even see this reach the official Olympics.