Riot Games has announced that League of Legends will be one of the official demonstration sports in the upcoming 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
This year’s Asian Games will be held in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia from August 18 to September 2. The Asian Games is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the world’s second-largest multi-sport competition, with 462 events and 45 participating nations this year, behind the Olympics themselves no less.
“We’re honored that League of Legends was selected for the Asian Games,” said Riot Games Co-head of Esports Jarred Kennedy in a statement.
Riot will be cooperating with and advising the Olympic Council of Asia and its member nations in organizing the tournament and selecting format for selecting each nation’s representatives.
With League’s widespread popularity in Asia, fans of the game are given the once-unheard of chance to see their hometown players and teams represent their countries, or do it themselves, in such a prestigious stage.
As for the general public, the event is yet another opportunity for esports to break into mainstream consciousness.
“Representing one’s country at the Olympics is a dream for athletes around the world, and with this step, that dream is one step closer to reality for the best in our sport,” added Kennedy.
The 45 participating nations in the games will field their representative teams of five players each in Regional Qualifiers sometime in June. The qualifiers will determine which eight teams will proceed to the main event in Jakarta.
“We admire and respect the values of the Olympic movement and look forward to supporting the Olympic Council of Asia in making this competition a success,” said Kennedy.
The entry of esports into the Asian Games was originally announced in April last year, when Chinese internet giant Alibaba formalized a partnership with the Olympic Council of Asia.
Alongside League of Legends, the Games will also host other esports titles including Hearthstone, Pro Evolution Soccer, Clash Royale, and Arena of Valor, among others.