Following the announcement of the inclusion of Esports as a medal sport at the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) have jointly unveiled the official campaign leading up to the Asian Games titled ‘Road to Asian Games’ (RDAG).
This unveiling marks the onset of a colourful RDAG 2022 campaign which will extend until the Asian Games in September 2022. To determine the final teams and seeding mechanics to compete at the Asian Games, the AESF unveiled two stages of selection under the Road to Asian Games umbrella consisting of the National Team Selection and a Regional Competition, both held sequentially between January to June 2022.
With Korea being one of the worlds leading Esports Nation, the first official launch of the ‘RDAG’ was proudly hosted in the Korea e-Sports Hall of Fame, by the Korean eSports Association. With so much history and achievement of Korean Esports through time as represented in the e-Sports Hall of Fame, the ‘RDAG’ Launch event was met with support and interest from members of the Olympic Council of Asia and Korean Sport & Olympic Committee.
This announcement highlights various facets of the campaign including the official game titles competed, selection programme, competition structure and various other supporting programmes for athletes, fans and esports enthusiasts across Asia.
Mr. Haider Farman, OCA Director of Sports and Asian Games Director, welcomed the attendees during the RDAG opening remarks. “This is indeed a very significant milestone in the development of esports and sports in general. I assure you, that the OCA has the Asian esports community’s best interest when it comes to collaborations and support. Together with the AESF, we will be working closely with local federations to organize national team selections as well as the final draws and seedings for teams who make it to the final rounds.”
Commenting on the campaign launch, Sebastian Lau, the Director General of the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) said “We are ever so thrilled to make this announcement for Esports. The Road to Asian Games has been years in the making and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our many partners, particularly the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) for their vision and trust in Esports.”
As a show of support, representatives from Blizzard Entertainment, China Mobile Migu, Electronic Arts (EA), Krafton, Perfect World, Riot Games, and were also in attendance, both in-person and online.
The announcement made by AESF at a launching ceremony in Seoul, Korea also marked a significant milestone for Korean esports with an official joint-marketing signing agreement between Korea e-Sport Association (KeSPA) and the Korean Sports & Olympic Committee (KSOC). The official signing between the two bodies symbolized the world’s first union of a National Olympic Committee and a National Esports Association.
Jo Yong-man, Secretary General of the Korea Sports & Olympic Committee, said, “Esports has recently been recognized internationally as a sport, and the International Olympic Committee is also actively seeking ways to cooperate with Esports. I think this Asian Games will not only raise the status of Esports but will also serve as an opportunity for Esports to stand shoulder to shoulder with existing sports as one of the true sports events. The Korea Sports & Olympic Committee will continue to spread the excellence of Esports together with the Korea e-Sports Association.”
Kim Young-man, President of the Korea e-Sports Association, said, “I am delighted to announce the first Esports journey to the Asian Games at the e-Sports Hall of Fame, which records the history of Esports in Korea. The Korea e-Sports Association, together with the Olympic Council of Asia, the Asian Electronic Sports Federation, and the Korea Sports & Olympic Committee, will help all Asians enjoy Esports and achieve harmony.”