The 9th Asian Games in Hangzhou, which will open on September 23, has attracted worldwide attention. Esports, one of the new additions, has attracted special attention. According to the ticket sales plan of the Hangzhou Asian Games, the e-sports event not only has the highest ticket price of up to 19,1000 yuan for the final, but also the only event that needs to be purchased by lot, which shows the attention of the outside world.
E-sports has become a popular project, thanks to the huge traffic it carries, and also thanks to the first "entry into Asia". According to the "China E-sports Industry Report from January to June 2023" released by the China Audio-Visual and Digital Publishing Association, in the first half of this year, the overall revenue of China's e-sports industry was 1.6 billion yuan, an increase of 759.93% month-on-month. The number of esports users in China is about 11 million. With such a large user base of support, it's no surprise that it's attracting a lot of attention. However, for a long time, e-sports have faced questions such as "e-sports is essentially a game, which will make children addicted" and "e-sports are sedentary and do not exercise for a long time, not considered sports", and the road to "entering Asia" is difficult and tortuous. At the 74 Asian Games in Jakarta, e-sports officially appeared on the Asian Games stage as an exhibition competition, and now, 4 events such as "League of Legends" and "Glory of Kings Asian Games Version" appear in the public eye for the first time as official Asian Games competitions, and the medals won by the projects will be counted in the national medal list - e-sports is not only expected to take off the hat of "not doing business", but also win glory for the country, which is obviously beyond its own attractiveness.
In fact, the hundreds of millions of traffic carried by e-sports and the extremely high popularity among young people are important reasons why they can successfully "enter Asia". In recent years, under the impact of professional sports events, large-scale comprehensive sports events represented by the Asian Games and the Olympic Games are encountering unprecedented challenges, and the aging trend of the audience is obvious. Esports has a young user base that can help them attract young audiences and repair their business capabilities. The person in charge once summarized the three meanings of e-sports "entering Asia": to provide a good and excellent atmosphere for the future Olympic Games and Asian Games to hold the project; Let more young people pay attention to, participate in, and love the Asian Games; It is hoped that the Asian Games will be used as an opportunity to promote the joint development of e-sports, digital industry and animation industry. The importance of e-sports is more reflected in the role of "others", whether it is to attract traffic to large-scale comprehensive sports events or to empower related industries.
From 2017, when the IOC agreed to consider competitive esports as a "sport", to December 2020, when esports officially became a competition at the Hangzhou Asian Games, the road to esports "entering Asia" has not been smooth. Over the past few years, game manufacturers and industry associations have alternately appeared to promote the "entry into Asia" of e-sports, including the consideration of destigmatizing and mainstream recognition by society with the help of official endorsements, factors that expand their influence in Asia and even the world with the help of the Asian Games, and long-term layouts that allow e-sports to complete sports and prepare for the "entry into the Olympic Games" of e-sports. E-sports also needs the help of the Asian Games.
E-sports and the Asian Games "go both ways" due to practical needs, but it is still too early to predict whether e-sports can further achieve "entry into the Olympic Games". The official attitude towards esports itself is vague and changeable. According to the rules set by the Asian Games, the Olympic events in this year's Hangzhou Asian Games are closely related to the events of the next Olympic Games, while most of the non-Olympic events originated from folk traditional sports activities, with a strong public base and strong regional characteristics. Among the 40 sports, 9 are non-Olympic sports, and e-sports are the same as chess and Go. Whether intellectual activity is a "sport" has been controversial. The IOC's question on whether esports is a sport and whether it meets the requirements for "joining the Olympic Games" is not static.
To some extent, the performance of e-sports in the Hangzhou Asian Games has a strong reference role. It affects how the official positioning of the event is, whether public opinion changes, whether the industry can achieve standardized development, and so on. No one can convince anyone, and it is difficult to solve practical problems. With the help of traditional top sports events, we can further experience how to make e-sports more connected with health, continuously improve rules and systems, achieve standardized transformation, and then obtain stable support at home and abroad, so that "joining the Olympic Games" can be achieved. (Nanfang Daily)