Esports will feature as an official medal event at the 2021 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) has announced.
The AESF confirmed the decision following a meeting with organisers of the Games in Thailand, which will take place in Bangkok and Pattaya next year.
“We are pleased to announce a successful and fruitful meeting between us and the Thailand Electronic Sports Federation and the National Olympic Committee of Thailand in regards to the 2021 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games,” an AESF statement read.
“With the objective of having AESF as the ‘Official Continental Esports Federation’ we can also confirm that for the first time in AIMAG’s history, Esports will be one of the official medal events.”
Esports has featured at recent editions of the Games, including the last event Turkmenistan back in 2017.
Esports had been a demonstration event at the Games.
Four video game categories were contested at the games, including Hearthstone, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, The King of Fighters XIV, and Dota 2.
Esports would later feature on the programme for the Jakarta Palembang 2018 Asian Games as a demonstration event, with a view to full inclusion at the 2022 Asian Games.
Esports was ultimately left off the programme for Hangzhou 2022.
The Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will also feature bowling, cue sports, dancesport, floorball, futsal, indoor athletics, netball, speak takraw, short course swimming, muaythai and taekwondo.
The Games are scheduled to take place from April 24 to May 5.
Delegations from Oceania may also participate at the Games for the second time, joining National Olympic Committees from Asia.
Oceanian athletes were invited to the Games at Ashgabat in Turkmenistan back in 2017.