Esports is set to become a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Billion-dollar company Alibaba partnered with the Olympic Council of Asia to make the move possible. The announcement came after Alisports CEO Zhang Dazhong and OCA president, Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah held a launch party last Monday.
The Asian Games is seen as the second-largest sporting event in the world behind the Olympics.
The OCA announced that it will feature esports in next year’s 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, as a demonstration sport. In the 19th Asian Games in 2022, however, esports will become an official medal sport, “reflecting the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth.”
Alibaba is no stranger to the world of esports. Last year, its sports-centered arm Alisports invested $150 million into esports. They also partnered with the International eSports Federation to bring the World Electronic Sports Games, a $5.5 million esports tournament.