Video games could one day be part of the Olympics.
The Olympic Council of Asia announced Monday it will embrace the “Electronic Sports video game phenomenon” by adding eSports as a medal event in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, marking a step toward the International Olympic Committee one day adding eSports to the global games.
The IOC added baseball, softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The Asian Games are second only to the Olympics in terms of number of competitors, with over 10,000 participants. The Olympic Council of Asia will debut eSports as a demonstration event at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
Video games had already been added to the OCA’s 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, this September as a demonstration sport.
The OCA has partnered with Alisports, based in Shanghai. Alisports invested $150 million in the International eSports Federation, a South Korean organization that submitted a request for esports’ consideration from the International Olympic Committee, according to Deadspin.
“The Olympic Council of Asia has constantly been committed to the heritage, development and improvement of Asian sports, and we are extremely pleased about the strategic partnership with Alisports,” OCA president HE Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah said in a statement. “We look forward to further collaboration with Alisports in regards to digital sports concepts along with sporting events. We are sure that the extensive organizing capabilities of Alisports, and their experience in e-sports, will assist the OCA in developing all sports.”