The Asian Games 2023 will take place in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8. Esports (online gaming), included as an official event of the Asian Games for the first time, will offer seven gold medals across seven gaming titles. 

Why it matters: The 19th Asian Games have introduced Esports as a medal event, giving global recognition to this emerging form of sport alongside more familiar physical activities. In recent years, Esports has gained significant popularity worldwide, demanding a comparable level of  skill, strategy, and dedication to traditional sports.

Details: Over 15 days of competition, the Hangzhou Asian Games will award a total of 481 gold medals, including seven gold medals for Esports. 

  • A total of 45 countries have registered for the Asian Games 2023, with 31 countries and regions participating in Esports, according to Tencent Games. Over 500 Esport athletes will compete for gold medals at the Hangzhou Esports Center. Completed in 2022, the Hangzhou Esports Center covers an area of 80,000 square meters, and can accommodate up to 5,000 spectators. It was designed specifically for the Asian Games Esports events and resembles a sci-fi spaceship when viewed from above.
  • The Esports lineup comprises: League of Legends, DOTA 2, Honor of Kings (also known as Arena of Valor), PUBG, FIFA Online 4, Street Fighter V, and Dream Three Kingdoms 2. Of these, two gaming titles were developed by Chinese game developers. Honor of Kings was developed by Timi Studio Group (a subsidiary of Tencent Games), while Dream Three Kingdoms 2 was published by Hangzhou Electronic Soul Network Technology.
  • League of Legends, DOTA 2, and Honor of Kings belong to the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game genre. They involve two teams competing against each other to destroy an enemy base while defending their own base. MOBA games combine elements of strategy, teamwork, and individual skill, offering a wide range of heroes, each with unique abilities.
  • PUBG, which stands for Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, is an online multiplayer battle royale game. Players are dropped onto a remote island along with 99 other players, where they must scavenge for weapons, armor, and supplies while eliminating other players. The ultimate goal is to be the last player or team standing. The game features a shrinking play zone that forces players into closer and more intense encounters as play progresses.
  • FIFA Online 4 is a free-to-play online football simulation game, belonging to the popular FIFA series. Players can create and manage their own virtual football teams, compete against other players in online matches, and participate in various game modes, including league play, tournaments, and more. The game includes a wide range of real-life football players, teams, and leagues from around the world.
  • Street Fighter V features a roster of diverse characters, each with their own unique fighting styles and special moves. Players engage in one-on-one battles, utilizing a combination of punches, kicks, and special abilities to defeat their opponents. Success hinges on precise timing, strategy, and the execution of combo moves to outmaneuver opponents.
  • Dream Three Kingdoms 2 is a strategy game set in ancient China. It challenges players to navigate the intricacies of diplomacy, warfare, and resource management to build their kingdoms and defeat their rivals.

Context: Originally scheduled to take place in 2022, the 19th Asian Games were delayed until this month due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

  • Vivo’s sub-brand iQOO has been chosen as the official Esports gaming phone provider, which means that all contests at the international event will use their flagship smartphones.

Jessie Wu is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. She covers consumer electronics, semiconductor, and the gaming industry for TechNode. Connect with her via e-mail: