Earlier this year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recognised esports as a sport. For this reason, electronic gaming has reached a new milestone, making a presence in the second biggest sports event, the Asian Games 2018. The trial will start off with League of Legends while also featuring other games such as StarCraft II, Hearthstone, Clash Royale, Arena of Valor and Pro Evolution Soccer.
An opportunity not to miss for all League of Legends players and fans alike to see some legendary battles. This opens up an opportunity for all those Asian pro players who are not in an esports team, to show the world their potential to fight for their country, playing video games. The IOC’s support of esports in sports events will see medals being awarded to pros in the 2022 Asian Games and in the 2024 Olympics.
What are Asian Games 2018?
The Asian Games 2018 is the second largest sports event similar to the Olympics but for Asian athletes, which is recognised by the International Olympic Committee. The competition started back in 1951 in New Delhi and since then has taken place every four years up to the present day.
This year marks the 18th edition of such a prestigious tournament which will be hosted in two cities, Jakarta and Palembang, where it will be held between 18th August till 2nd September 2018 in Indonesia, The all-time medal record holders so far are the Chinese team with a total of 1,355 gold, 928 silver medals and 693 that won bronze.
This year has been the start for non-Olympic sports like bowling, Bridge card game, Jet Ski, Paragliding, Squash, wrestling sports like Jujitsu, Kurash, Pencak Silat and Sambo. On top of this, the Asian Games 2018 will also include League of Legends Esports in the programme to be considered as a test for the upcoming Olympics.
League of Legends at Asian Games 2018
It is now official that a League of Legends tournament will be featured at the Asian Games 2018. Riot Games will consult the Asian Olympic Council about the team selections and the tournament format. They will also help make a few changes in the LOL Summer Split so that pro gamers could attend the Asian Games.
The game developers, Riot Games have confirmed that League of Legends will be played at the Asian Games 2018. In a new release, Jarred Kennedy, the Co-Head of Riot Esports said: “We’re honoured that League of Legends was selected for the Asian Games. Representing one’s country at the Olympics is a dream for athletes around the world, and with this step, that dream is one step closer to reality for the best in our sport. We admire and respect the values of the Olympic movement and look forward to supporting the Olympic Council of Asia in making this competition a success.”
Before the main League of Legends event, there will be the regional qualifying matches up until June where 45 nations will participate. Only eight professional esports teams will go through to compete in the playoffs at the Asian Games held between 24 Aug till 1 September.
Last February, StarCraft was featured at the Intel Extreme Masters PyeongChang offering a prize pool of $150K, an event that was also supported by IOC. The event took place just days before the 2018 Winter Olympics on a trial run for esports.
Young kids nowadays can aspire to be pro players, making a name for themselves in the sports tournaments like the Asian Games or perhaps the Olympics. League of Legends is the stepping stone to making the future of esports even brighter.