Electronic sports or “e-sports” is going to be featured as a medal event in the 2021 edition of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG).
The Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF), which organizes the AIMAG made the announcement via Twitter.
— Asian Electronic Sports Federation (@ConnectAESF) March 10, 2020
AIMAG is considered one of the largest pan-continental sporting events in Asia with 25 sports categories being played back in 2017.
This multinational sporting event is hosted by the countries of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) every four years. There are no details regarding the game titles that would be included in the 2021 AIMAG at the time of this writing.
E-sports was featured as a medal event in the recently held 2019 South East Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines.
An ongoing event
This is the third time that e-sports has been included by the OCA in this iteration of the event.
Back in 2013, the e-sports category featured six titles including FIFA 13, Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed, StarCraft II, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, League of Legends, and Special Force.
In the 2017 edition held at Ashgabat in Turkmenistan, the OCA and its local partners decided to feature e-sports as demonstration sport instead of a medal category. Only four titles made the final cut: Hearthstone, StarCraft II, The King of Fighters XIV, and Dota 2.
E-sports is expected to continue to boom
To put it simply, e-sports refers to competitive video games that are played between two individuals, pairs, or teams with different gaming titles.
Some of the most famous e-sports titles today include StarCraft 2, Tekken 7, Dota 2 League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, among others.
According to Newzoo, a gaming market intelligence company, e-sports is projected to become a US$1.1 billion industry this year, with a year-on-year growth of 15.7%, up from a US$950.6 million in 2019.
An interesting thing to note is that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a first-person shooter game, breached the one million all-time user mark a few weeks ago.
Effects of the pandemic
In light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, it is expected that e-sports and online gaming will continue to gain popularity.
Whether the COVID-19 virus affects next year’s AIMAG remains to be seen. After all, many e-sports and general sporting events have been canceled this year due to fears over the virus outbreak.
Images courtesy of Flickr/Sam Churchill, Unsplash