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Computer games to become medal sport at Asian Games

Olympic Council of Asia will award gold medals for fragging in 2022, helped by Alibaba

By Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2017

Gold medals will be awarded to players of computer games at the 2022 Asian Games.

The games are run under the auspices of the Olympic Council of Asia and, like the Olympics, offer a two-week orgy of sport. Most of the events at the Asian Games are familiar sports like track and field, aquatics, cycling and sailing, but the event also includes some distinctly Asian events like Kabbadi, Sepak takraw and the martial art Wushu.

The 2014 event in Korea attracted over 9,500 athletes from 45 nations. Two of those nations were China and India, meaning a very substantial per cent of humanity was represented. That level of participation translates into lots of attention across the region, although the Games aren't as all-pervasive as the Olympics.

But like all big events, the Games are keen to attract more young viewers. The 2022 event, to be staged in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, will therefore include computer games. Or “e-sports” as they're now known.

The Olympic Council of Asia has announced the decision earlier this week, along with news that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's e-sports offshoot, Alisports,will help it to market the new event.

There's no word on which games will make the 2022 games, but the Council has already added e-sports to this year's Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games where FIFA 2017, MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and RTA (Real Time Attack) will be contended. E-sports will also be a demonstration sport at next year's Asian Games in Indonesia.

The Register looks forward to seeing that competition, if only because Darts needs competition as a sport played mostly by the couch-bound and unfit. ®

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