— Published 27 September 2023

China leads the way in e-sports

A new page in the history of the international sporting movement was turned on Tuesday 26 September at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou. The first official gold medal in an e-sport discipline was awarded on the fourth day of the multi-sport event. It went to China. The six players on the Chinese team, all professionals, dominated their Malaysian rivals in just 45 minutes in the final of a smartphone game, Arena of Valor. Thailand won the bronze medal by beating Vietnam. No fewer than seven Asian eSport titles will be awarded at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, including two for mobile phone games. E-sports were showcased at the last edition of the continental event, in Jakarta in 2018. They are now included in the official programme. In Hangzhou, eSport competitions are enjoying a unique popularity among the public. The 4,500 seats in the new stadium were sold out in no time. The tickets for the eSport competitions were even the only ones to be allocated via a lottery, due to the number of applications far exceeding the capacity of the site.