(KoreaTimes)—- Chances are looking good for Korean e-sports or competitive video game players to compete in the upcoming Asian Games.
E-sports will be featured at the 18th Asian Games which will be held in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2, as the event has been selected as a demonstration sport.
However, there have been concerns that Korean e-sports players might not be available to compete in the Asian Games as the Korea e-Sports Association (KeSPA) failed to meet the standards needed to become an affiliate of the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC).
To become an affiliate of the KSOC, the KeSPA is required to join at least one sports council in a city or province in the country. KeSpa said Tuesday it was approved by the Daejeon Sports Council.
“The Daejeon e-sports association, one of KeSPA’s affiliates was approved by the Daejeon Sports Council Tuesday,” said a KeSPA official. “We still need to be approved by the KSOC to let e-sports players compete in the Asian Games. We will do our best to become a KSOC affiliate.”
KeSPA added it will announce its preliminary entry for e-sports competition in the Asian Games on Thursday.
For the upcoming Asian Games, six video games have been confirmed to take part. They are “League of Legends,” “Pro Evolution Soccer 2018,” “Arena of Valor,” “StarCraft II,” “Hearthstone” and “Clash Royale.”
Among the six video games, League of Legends has the largest fan base in e-sports. League of Legends is a five-on-five online game. Whoever destroys the other side’s base (known as Nexus) wins. The product of U.S.-based Riot Games has held an annual championship event since 2011 and Korea-based clubs have won the event for five consecutive years since 2013.
During last year’s League of Legends World Championship that featured the top 24 teams in the world, fans from around the world watched over 1.2 billion hours of content during the event held in China from Sept. 23 to Nov. 4.
For companies, e-sports has been regarded as a positive way to pormote their brand.
The recent example comes from Hanwha Life Insurance. The Hanwha Group affiliation is one of the leading insurance firms in Korea. The insurance company acquired Korean e-sports team ROX Tigers last month and rebranded it as Hanwha Life Esports.
Hanwha Life Insurance said it decided to launch its own e-sports club in order to widen its brand appeal with young people. The Hanwha Life Esports team will compete in the League of Legends Champions Korea summer season. The Korean league currently features conglomerate-sponsored e-sports clubs including SK Telecom, KT and Jin Air. Also medium-sized companies such as BBQ, one of the largest chicken franchises in Korea, and Afreeca TV, a leading one-person Internet broadcasting platform, have been operating their own League of Legends e-sports clubs.
With the growing gaming industry, e-sports has been evolving as an industry. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said the global market size of e-sports was at around $1 billion last year, a 40 percent increase from 2016. The sports ministry expects the figure will be at $1.5 billion by 2020.