Asian Games 2022 featuring esports for the first time might be postponed to 2023

Asian Games might be postponed because of ongoing lockdowns in China.

For a very long time, esports had been waiting for its recognition in the Asian Games as a medal event, and it seemed like 2022 was the year in which esports would debut as a medal event. But things have taken an unexpected turn now. The 2022 Asian Games featuring esports might just get postponed to 2023 because of the ongoing lockdowns in Shanghai and Hangzhou.

Rise in Covid cases likely to postpone the esports debut in the Asian Games 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic definitely struck the world without a hint, because of which operations across the world were halted, several events postponed and people were forced into harsh lockdowns to curb the spread of the disease. China was the first country to fully lift all Covid-19 restrictions but now the country is battling a rise in the number of daily cases, this has led to widespread harsh lockdowns in the regions of Shanghai and Hangzhou. 

The Asian Games 2022 was the first time in history where eSports would be introduced as a medal event with games like Street Fighter V, FIFA, Arena of Valor, Hearthstone, PUBG, DOTA 2, League of Legends, and Dream Three Kingdoms 2. The event was scheduled to happen in September of this year, but the sudden unexpected rise in the Covid-19 infections has pushed both Hangzhou and Shanghai cities into lockdown.

PUBG Mobile Asian Games 2022
Image via Krafton

Hangzhou was the host city for the 2022 Asian Games, but now since the city is under lockdown with a rise in the number of infections, it is almost impossible for an event of the size of the Asian Games to be held in the city.

China is known for its harsh lockdowns and this might as well prove to be a problem for the event, another thing of concern is the huge number of international athletes who will be participating in the Asian Games. 

Husain Al-Musallam, the director-general of the Olympic Council of Asia, stated that although “no official decision has been taken” by the committee, there is a “possibility” that the games will be postponed. He also said that all the facilities required for the events have been built and the Chinese administration would provide a quarantine model similar to that of the Winter 2021 Olympics to ensure the safety of every athlete. 

The postponement will give players more time to prepare for the main tournament

Mobile Esports events in the 19th Asian Games
Mobile Esports events in the 19th Asian Games ( Image via Asian Games)

Players across the participating member nations faced problems as soon as the event was announced, League of Legend players forced the management to create a new schedule for the summer split so that players who will be representing their country at the Asian Games can also play the international championship event. On the brighter side, the potential postponement could also work well for countries and their athletes as they will gain enough time to practice more and be prepared for the main tournament. 

What are your thoughts as Asian Games 2022 featuring esports for the first time may now be postponed? Let us know in the comments below!

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