Esports official medal in 2022 Asian Games up in the air again
OCA backtracks, citing lack of overarching governing body as key hurdle in recognition as a medaling event
Esports is slowly edging toward recognition as an Olympic sport, but it still has a few hurdles to overcome. For the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) deciding what will be played in the 2022 Asian Games, the key hurdle for esports as a medaling event is the formation of an overarching governing body.
Last year, the Olympic Council of Asia announced that esports would be added as a medaling sport to the 2022 Asian Games. This multi-national event is recognized by the International Olympic Committee, and after the Olympics themselves, is the largest international multi-sport event in the world. Inclusion as a part of the 2022 games would put esports one giant step closer to participation and recognition in the Olympics, something the IOC has been discussing more fervently with the gaming industry in recent years.
However, Esports Observer reports that a recent meeting of the OCA's executive committee in Jakarta seemed to backtrack on the inclusion of esports as an official medaling sport for the 2022 games. Due to the wide range of hosts and organizing bodies for various types and genres of games, esports remains bereft of the overarching, regulating body that the OCA says it needs to be recognized. Lacking that, the committee is reluctant and the medal status of the 2022 games is currently up in the air.
That said, esports is still making an appearance as a demonstration sport in the 2018 games taking place this month. Games to be shown are Arena of Valor, Clash Royale, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Pro Evolution Soccer, and StarCraft II. The success of this year's demonstration may be taken into account as the committee continues to discuss the status of esports for future competitions.
In the past, the IOC has been hesitant to include esports in the Olympics for various reasons, including the prevalence of violent content in the majority of popular competitive titles.