Esports at 2026 Asian Games: Esports will be a medal event at the 2026 Asian Games in Aichi Nagoya – The Aichi-Nagoya Asian Games Organising Committee (AINAGOC) has announced that esports will be an official medal sport at the 20th Asian Games in 2026. This is the latest in a series of developments that have seen esports gain increasing recognition from the Olympic community.
The decision to include esports in the Asian Games was made at the 42nd Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand. The OCA is the governing body for the Olympic movement in Asia, and its decision is a major step forward for the legitimization of esports as a competitive sport.
Esports will be a medal event at the 2026 Asian Games in Aichi Nagoya
This exciting news was revealed during the recently concluded 42nd Olympic Council of Asia General Assembly held in Bangkok, Thailand and the AESF responsibly welcomes this decision. The inclusion of Esports in the 20th Asian Games is a testament to its significance and value in the sports community, as it continues to be accepted and recognized by the Asian Olympic communities.
“AESF does welcome the decision and announcement from both OCA and AINAGOC, and we offer our full support for Esports. We are committed to working closely with AINAGOC to ensure that the wonderful game of Esports continues to be presented as one of the medal events at the 20th Asian Games following the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games”, said AESF President, Kenneth Fok.
The Hangzhou Asian Games will feature 40 sports, 61 disciplines and 483 events. The 20th Asian Games 2026 will be held in Japan from September 19 to October 4, 2026.
Organising committee AINAGOC confirmed the 41 sports – 32 sports from the Paris 2024 Olympic Games plus nine other sports, including one from each of the five OCA zones: wushu (East Asia), sepak takraw (South East Asia), kabaddi (South Asia), kurash (Central Asia) and jujitsu (West Asia).
The two sports from AINAGOC are baseball/softball and karate. The two sports from OCA are squash and esports.
AINAGOC announced it will host the swimming/diving and equestrian events of the 20th Asian Games in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games venues in the Japanese capital – the Tokyo Aquatics Centre and JRA Equestrian Park.
They are also planning to use existing hotels near the competition venues throughout Nagoya city and Aichi prefecture rather than constructing a designated Asian Games Village. AINAGOC is negotiating with 19 hotels, although the OCA is hoping the organisers can arrange an official village albeit on a smaller scale.
Following the successful collaboration with the HAGOC for the upcoming 19th Asian Games, AESF, as the Asian Esports governing body, will continue its collaboration model with the AINAGOC and the local counterparts to ensure a successful Esports program at the 20th Asian Games.