In a good piece of news for gaming enthusiasts, Esports has been included in the proposed list of official medal sports to be contested at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) 2025.
According to an AIMAG news statement, the proposed list of official medal sports was presented during the 41st Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly last week, and it is a step toward elevating esports from demonstration games to full-fledged medal events.
AIMAG 2025 is scheduled to take place in Riyadh and it will be the seventh time that the competition is held. Saudi Arabia is hosting the AIMAG for the first time. The next AIMAG will take place next year in Chonburi, Thailand.
Esports To be Introduced as a Proper Medal Event at Asian Games 2022
Electronic sports will make its official debut as a medal event at the Asian Games in 2022, having previously appeared as a showcase title in 2018. The Asian Games 2022, which were initially slated for September of this year, have been rescheduled for September 23 to October 8, 2023. Recently, the Indian DOTA 2 Team marked history by winning the bronze medal at the first-ever 2022 Commonwealth Esports Championship which was held in Birmingham.
Animesh Agarwal, former esports athlete and Founder & CEO of 8bit Creatives, an esports consultancy and talent business, stated: “With esports gaining the momentum that it has, it has made its way into various national and international platforms including the Asian Games. The most recent consideration of adding esports to AIMAG 2025, comes as a very welcome move.”
Lokesh Suji, the Director, of the Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF), said: “What better news than this, from the first addition of esports as a demonstration event at AIMAG 2017 to being included as a proper medal event at AIMAG 2021 (postponed due to the pandemic) and now possible inclusion at AIMAG 25 brings us immense joy & excitement.”
He also added, “It is safe to say that Esports is not far away from being considered a mainstream sport now courtesy of the remarkable efforts undertaken by the AESF and the OCA. The event AIMAG 2025 is set to take place in Riyadh and the Saudi Arabia government recognized esports as a sport there which is very encouraging.”