(Image credit: Olympic Council of Asia)
As if esports isn’t big enough as it is, it’s now getting much more ginormous. Thanks to a recent partnership between Alibaba’s sports arm Alisports and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), esports will be one of the highlights in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games and 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.
According to China Daily, Alisports has invested 100 million yuan (US$14.5 million) to launch the World Electronic Sports Games, with plans for it being one of the highest-paying esports tournaments in the world. The games featured in that tournament include DOTA 2, StarCraft II, Hearthstone, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Alisports will also actively participate in working with the OCA to continue market development for every sports event at the games.
Things are looking up for esports; global research firm Newzoo said that the genre’s revenues totaled US$463 million in 2016, and sales are expected to reach US$1.1 billion worldwide in 2019. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of 2017 and the WESG unfold.