Dreams have become reality in an announcement of a strategic partnership between Alisports, subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to bring Electronic Sports to the official programme of the 2022 Asia Games in Hangzhou. In the lead up to the official inclusion as a medal event, esports will appear as a “demonstration sport” at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan this September.
The Olympic Council of Asia has constantly been committed to the heritage, development and improvement of Asian sports, and we are extremely pleased about the strategic partnership with Alisports. We look forward to further collaboration with Alisports in regards to digital sports concepts along with sporting events. We are sure that the extensive organising capabilities of Alisports, and their experience in e-sports, will assist the OCA in developing all sports.
FIFA 2017 has been the first game confirmed to be contested at the AIMAG, with a Multiplayer Online Battle Area game (possibly Dota 2, League of Legends or Honor of Kings) and a Real Time Attack (Strategy?) game (possibly Stracraft 2 or Starcraft: Remastered) yet to be announced.
I would like to thank the Olympic Council of Asia for their faith in Alisports. Together we will work on providing the sponsors of the Asian Games with more opportunities and maximizing the market value, so that the OCA enjoys optimum benefits and advantages.
All this following the massive $150 million dollar investment by Alisports into the International Esports Federation, which aims at making esports an Olympic event. Market research firm Newzoo, reported last year that esports generated $439 million in revenue with a global audience estimated at 320 million people in 2016.