NEW DELHI: Esports has been included in the proposed list of official medal sports to be contested at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games 2025.
As per a press release from AIMAG, the proposed list of official medal sports was announced at the 41st Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly last week and is a step towards seeing esports elevate its status from demonstration games to a full-fledged medal event.
Set to take place in Riyadh, AIMAG 2025 will be the 7th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and marks the first time in Saudi Arabia. The next AIMAG will take place next year in Chonburi, Thailand.
Esports is going to make its debut at the Asian Games 2022 as a proper medal event, earlier in 2018 it was there as a demonstration title. The Asian Games 2022, originally scheduled for September this year, will now be held from September 23 to October 8, 2023.
Recently, The Indian DOTA 2 team produced a power-packed performance to clinch the bronze medal at the first-ever Commonwealth Esports Championship 2022 in Birmingham.
Animesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, of 8bit Creatives, India's leading esports consulting and talent agency and ex-esports athlete said: "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." "At a time when the gaming industry in India is getting redefined and diversifying into many new games while recovering from recent setbacks, this comes as a validation of the prominence of esports in this world.
Clearly, the growth track that Gaming and Esports have been on, is going to continue. Such developments instil a lot more confidence in the whole sporting ecosystem built around esports and is an inspiration for budding esports players to hone themselves.
Our esports teams, 8bit & sOul are all motivated to work hard and represent India in these national and international tournaments and bring laurels for the country." he added. Lokesh Suji, Director, 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."
"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 recognised esports as a sport there which is very encouraging," he added.