Asian body bats for esports’ inclusion in Hanoi
More than the Philippines collaring three gold medals in the event in the Southeast Asian Games last year and esports being the fastest growing global sport, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) feel that it just isn’t fair for esports to be excluded in the next edition of this region’s version of the Olympics that Vietnam will host next year.
The POC got an ally in the AESF as both will now bat for the inclusion of esports when the SEA Games Federation meets via Zoom on July 21 after only 36 sports were calendared by the hosts in the Hanoi Games set on Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 next year.
AESF director general Sebastian Lau has notified National Electronic Sports Federation of the Philippines (NESFP) president Ramon Suzara on the continental federation’s bid to insert their sport.
“We found out the news that Vietnam has not included esports as one of the official games, and currently it is in a process where the participating countries can send an appeal to the host country,’’ Lau wrote.
At least 15 sports that produced 56 gold medals for the Philippines didn’t make the final list, prompting POC president and Cavite Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino to make representations in the coming federation meeting this week.
“This lobby from the AESF is a welcome development for esports,’’ Suzara said. “All SEA Games countries have already adopted esports and they would want the sport to be played in Vietnam next year.’’
Esports will debut in the 2024 Olympics in Paris as a demonstration sport. INQ
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