The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) recently struck a deal with Alisports, which is the sports branch of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. The OCA and Alibaba met at Hangzhou on Monday at the latter’s headquarters to sign the deal. Hangzhou will also play host to the 2022 Asian Games. E-sports will be featured as a demonstration event at the 2018 Jakarta Games as well as the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG).

This is a landmark deal for the OCA

Although the video games for the Hangzhou Games have not been decided, it has been confirmed that FIFA 2017, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena and Real Time Attack will be featured in the AIMAG. In an official statement, the OCA said that their aim was to ‘bring the Electronic Sports video game phenomenon to the official sports programme of the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.’ By 2022, e-sports will officially be a medal sport. But they have not stopped there, e-sports have been tirelessly lobbying to be included as an Olympic sport. According to data from the BBC, e-sports have contributed $493 million and amassed a global audience of 320 million in the year 2016. This year, the revenue is expected to rise to at least $696 million with China adding 15% to the revenue

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