The Olympic Council of Asia has confirmed eSports will make a debut in the 2020 Asian Games. The event will be host across 44 venues in Hangzhou, China where physical sports including baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and volleyball will also be represented.
The 2014 Asian Games had 45 participating nations. China led the final medal tally with 345 spread across gold, silver, and bronze. Roughly 60,000 were in attendance for its opening ceremony.
This marks the first time that video games have been formally included in a major multi-sport event. It has been widely debated whether or not eSports should be introduced into the Olympics, with major progress made during the past 12 months. Recently, the International Olympic Committee accepted preliminary paperwork by the International eSports Federation to add video games to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. It is currently unclear if the request will be finalized in time for the event.
The eSports industry has grown on a year-over-year basis and is estimated to be responsible for over $1 billion in revenue in 2017. This growth has raised interest among publishers and marketers who view it as a huge opportunity to advertise to millennials in particular. The most popular eSports games are Dota 2, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.