Editor's note:

Heart to heart, Aida future. The 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou will open on September 9. At the opening of the event, Chinanews.com launched the "Asian Games Eight Questions" series of planning, inviting you to this "future" appointment.

Beijing, September 9 (Zhongxin Net) -- When the world's eyes are focused on the shores of West Lake, on September 18, the Hangzhou Asian Games will arrive as scheduled. As night falls, the lights of the Hangzhou E-sports Center in China are lit up. Embellished with colorful light bars on the roof, the high-tech building resembles a giant interstellar vortex. Coming together in this so-called "Starship" venue, esports fans have been waiting for a long time.

The picture shows the Hangzhou Asian Games e-sports venue lit up at night, and the colorful light bar on the roof is like a star track. Photo by China News Agency reporter Wang Gang

As an emerging sport loved by young people, e-sports will appear on the Asian Games stage for the first time as an official competition. According to the "China E-sports Industry Report for January-June 2023" released by the China Audio-Visual and Digital Publishing Association, from January to June this year, the overall revenue of China's e-sports industry was 1.6 billion yuan, an increase of 1.6% month-on-month. The number of esports users in China is about 759 million.

With the support of such a large user group, the "fire of e-sports" will be ignited in Hangzhou in the autumn.

Jakarta Asian Games exhibition match

When it comes to the fate of esports and the Asian Games, it goes back five years.

On May 2018, 5, the Olympic Council of Asia officially announced that esports entered the performance program of the 14th Asian Games, and the selected events were "Arena of Valor", "Clash Royale", "League of Legends", "Pro Evolution Soccer 18", "Hearthstone" and "StarCraft 2018".

Inside the venue of the Hangzhou E-sports Center, China. Photo by Zhang Yuhuan

At the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, 13 Chinese athletes participated in the competition of 3 performance events including "Arena of Valor", "Clash Royale" and "League of Legends", and finally ended with 2 gold and 1 silver.

At that time, e-sports appeared on the stage of the Asian Games as an exhibition tournament, attracting a lot of attention. Several players said that esports is not the same as playing games, and players who strive for it need both talent and hard training.

Seven e-sports projects were unveiled in Hangzhou

At the end of 2020, the 39th General Assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia officially announced that e-sports were approved to be included in the competition program of the Hangzhou Asian Games.

In November 2021, the e-sports sub-settings of the Hangzhou Asian Games were announced, and 11 projects including League of Legends, Honor of Kings (Asian Games Version), Peace Elite (Asian Games Version), Hearthstone, Dota 2, Dream Three Kingdoms 2, Street Fighter 5 and FIFA Online 4 were selected.

On March 3 this year, the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee issued a statement saying that after the fifth meeting of the Coordination Committee of the Olympic Council of Asia decided to cancel the "Hearthstone" project setting, the Hangzhou Asian Games e-sports will set up 16 events.

Hearthstone cannot land

Since then, 31 athletes have stood out from the Chinese e-sports national training team to compete in the Hangzhou Asian Games. Talking about goals, several coaches from different projects have said that they will turn pressure into motivation and go all out to win glory for the country.

As the favorite to win the Glory of Kings (Asian Games version) event, Li Tuo, the head coach of the Chinese team, said frankly that the team's goal is to win the gold medal and show the best self. "In order to make the players better adapt, we will deliberately increase the pressure of training in normal times."

According to the schedule released on the website of the Hangzhou Asian Games, esports will usher in the first competition day on September 9.

"Did you win?"

A few days ago, the sale of e-sports tickets for the Hangzhou Asian Games was launched. It is reported that the project is sold to the public in the form of registration lottery and winning payment. In other words, whether you can successfully grab tickets is not absolutely related to the order of registration, and some netizens ridiculed: grabbing Asian Games e-sports tickets requires luck like a passenger car "lottery".

According to the ticket purchase page of the Hangzhou Asian Games website, the lowest ticket price of a single e-sports event is higher than that of most other sports, and e-sports is also the only event in this Asian Games that can only be purchased after the audience wins the lot.

Image source: Screenshot of the ticket page of the Hangzhou Asian Games website

It can be seen from the ticket purchase that e-sports events have a high popularity in the Hangzhou Asian Games. Huo Qigang, president of the Asian Electronic Sports Federation, previously said, "Asian esports has become a booming industry that unlocks great potential and connects people from different backgrounds, cultures and countries. ”

When e-sports events enter "Hangzhou Time", this "official" debut at the Asian Games is expected to further promote the development of e-sports. "The preparation of the Hangzhou Asian Games hopes to present a wonderful e-sports feast to the general audience, e-sports enthusiasts, and even sports enthusiasts." Previously, during the test event of the e-sports competition of the Hangzhou Asian Games, Lu Xin, the contact person of the e-sports project of the competition department of the Hangzhou Asian Organizing Committee, promised. (End)