Jakarta, MINA – The biggest multisport event in Asia has entered a new era with the debut of electronic sports, or eSports, as an exhibition event in Jakarta at the 2018 Asian Games. On Aug. 26, eSports kicked off its Asian Games journey with athletes from 18 different countries tussling for supremacy in an electrifying atmosphere.
The journey of eSports in getting into the 2018 Asian Games was long and definitely not easy. It took time and a lot of effort for the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) to convince the National Olympic Committee (NOC), the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) to include eSports in this year’s Games, asiangames2018.id reported.
“For four years we have held workshops and demonstrations in an effort to convince the OCA [to support] eSports, also with the help from the NOC. We hope that after this, the talents of these eSports athletes can be recognized worldwide,” said Kenneth Fok, the president of the AESF.
Fok described the inclusion of eSports in the 2018 Asian Games as “a very good step” for the Energy of Asia and the sporting world. ESports is expected to develop pride within athletes and a greater unity and promote a new type of career to consider for the future generations.
“Keep in mind that eSports athletes are very excited to be considered athletes, as written on their ID cards, which makes them proud. They feel so honored to be here and to discuss with other athletes eSports,“ said Lokesh Suji, the vice president of the AESF.
As many as 150 athletes will participate in eSports, which includes not only male athletes but also female athletes who will fight in the most prestigious sports arena on the Asian continent. “One thing that has been done by the Thai government is to separate the competitions specifically for women to encourage the women ecosystem in eSports to emerge and to be able to produce new athletes,” said Santi Lothong, an executive board member of the AESF.
In the near future, the AESF is planning to work with relevant stakeholders to increase the participation of female athletes in eSports competitions.
Being an eSports athlete is not as easy as one would imagine, as some of them are not supported by their families and, therefore, further support may be required. Regarding this, the AESF has collaborated with several universities in Asia to develop curricula related to eSports.
Eric Yeun Cuen Sing, the president of the eSports Association of Hong Kong, said that the Hong Kong government invested more than US$13 to build a superior eSports ecosystem for its athletes. “ESports isn’t just about games. This is related to the technological progress of a nation. So it’s no wonder we were able to hold a Mega eSports event that had 7.4 million visitors online for two days of implementation,” said Eric.
It is obvious that Asia is the global eSports catalyst. Let us enjoy the championships held at the Kelapa Gading Britama Arena from Aug. 26 to Sept. 1.(L/R04/RS5)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)