The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the body which controls all sports in Asia approved the inclusion of e-Sports at the Asian Games. This is a giant leap for cyber athletes; it means that the discipline of e-Sports is being taken serious by a traditional governing body of Sport.
The OCA was formed in 1982 and has its permanent headquarters in Kuwait. The main objective of the OCA is to develop sport, culture and education of Asian youth as well as to promote international respect, friendship, goodwill and peace through sports.
The main objectives of the OCA is to apply and uphold the Olympic principles as defined in the Olympic Charter, to be the sole organization in overall charge of sports in Asia and the representative authority with all other bodies/authorities responsible for Olympic, Asian, Continental, International and World Games. Not only will the OCA help co ordinate with the hosting of the Asian, International and Regional Games, they will also be responsible to solve, as the supreme Asian Sports Organization, any sports problems that may arise among Asian countries or between them and others.
I had a talk with Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) president, Colin Webster, about the implications of this announcement. The MSSA has been part of placing local gamers on the international e-Sports arena for years. Webster has also been working closely with the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) for the promotion of a governing body for e-Sports. This is the single most important obstacle to overcome before e-Sports can be considered to enter the Olympic Games.
A letter from Colin Webster, President of Mind Sports South Africa
“One of the main objectives of the MSSA and its international body, the IeSF, is to have e-Sports accredited as a full sport. While the MSSA has achieved such objective within South Africa, it is the IeSF that has furthered the gains on behalf of all gamers world-wide.
Since the IeSF was formed in 2008, it has doggedly pursued its objective of getting e-Sports accredited. Part of the vision is for the IeSF to affiliate to SportAccord. SportAccord is the international sporting body to which all International Federations are affiliated. So, from a mere eight founding members, the IeSF has managed to expand to over 40 members in 2012.
With the IeSF's commitment and determination to fit into the existing sports structures, it was able to meet with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). Admittedly the OCA had selected e-Sports as a demonstration discipline within the 2nd Asian Indoor Games in 2007. In 2009, at the 3rd Asian Indoor Games held in Vietnam, eSports was again included.
However, now with the IeSF on the scene, the OCA has recognised the IeSF as the official governing body for e-Sports and has thus made the IeSF responsible for the games at the 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games, to be held in Inceon Korea in 2013. Not only has the IeSF been recognised, but e-Sports are also included as an official discipline!
The agreement between the IeSF and OCA bodes well for long-term cooperation for e-Sports in Asia, far beyond the 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games. With e-Sports being included by the OCA, many of the National Olympic Committees from different Asian countries have been requested to increase their interest in e-Sports, and promote the establishment of e-Sports associations and federations in their respective countries.
Thus the inclusion of e-Sports by the OCA into the 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games bodes well for the future potential of eSports. So much has been achieved in the past four years; the next four should be even more exciting!”
Being part of the MSSA as the legal guardian for e-Sports in South Africa has numerous benefits; you can earn a bursary, compete internationally and have your rights as a cyber-athlete protected. For any queries, contact the MSSA on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for e-Sports updates.
MWEB GameZone thanks Mr Webster and the MSSA for their years of hard work and unflinching dedication to growing e-Sports.
Han’s Twitter | Blog / MWEB Gamezone Twitter | Facebook