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Following detailed discussions with the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC), the OCA Executive Board (EB) decided to postpone the 19th Asian Games, which were scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China, from 10 to 25 September 2022. The new dates of the 19th Asian Games will be agreed between the OCA, the COC and the HAGOC and announced in the near future. However, the above decision was taken by all the stakeholders after carefully considering the pandemic situation and the size of the Games.

The Olympic Council of Asia has earlier announced the titles for the debut of esports as an official medal sport at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September 2022. There will be eight medal events, plus two demonstration games, reflecting the popularity and growth of electronic sports in Asia.
Recently, following eight days of high-voltage competition and nail-biting action in the ESFI’s National Esports Championship 2022 (NESC ’22), the winners have been selected to represent the country at the prestigious continental tournament.

1. FIFA22 – Charanjot Singh and Karman Singh Tikka
2. Street Fighter V – Mayank Prajapati and Ayan Biswas
3. Hearthstone – Shikhar Choudhary and Karthik Varma
4. League of Legends – Captain Akshaj Shenoy, Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik
5. DOTA 2 – Captain Moin Ejaz, Krish, Abhishek, Ketan, Darshan and Shubham

After hearing the Asian Games postponement news, Mr Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) said “The well-being of the athletes is the top priority and this news is expected as there was news floating about the covid resurgence in China. While the wait gets longer but the excitement remains the same. We should look at this as a blessing in disguise, giving our Indian esports contingent more time to sharpen their skills to further our chances of podium finishes.
Can’t wait to watch Indian Esports athletes in action on the Asian stage”

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As esports is going to make its debut at the Asian Games 2022, earlier in 2018 it was there as a demonstration title. Indian Esports contingent for the Asian Games 2022 came to surprise after hearing this news and put their thoughts:

FIFA22 athlete Charanjot Singh:
All of us athletes are gutted by the news of the postponement of the Asian Games, but we’ll continue to give our everything in practice leading up to the tournament. The postponement gives us more time to practice and get better for the Asian games.

FIFA22 athlete Karman Singh Tikka:
As Asian Games is postponed, it’s hard to digest it because it somewhat kills your excitement as an athlete. But at the same time, it gives us more time to prepare for the Asian games. We can use this extended timeline to our advantage by grinding more, making strategies against other Asian FIFA athletes and reading their gameplays to be prepared in a better way.

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Street Fighter V athlete Mayank Prajapati:
I can’t say I’m not disappointed by hearing the news, but it was kind of expected given the COVID-19 situation. I’m gonna take it positively because I’m going to get more time to practice. Ever since I started preparing myself for the qualifiers/tournament I’ve made progress better than I did in the last 4 years. So I’m gonna keep practising and hopefully, I’ll be able to finally compete in Asian Games. Whenever it’s going to happen, I’ll be prepared.

Street Fighter V athlete Ayan Biswas:
It feels very bad that the game has been postponed because of the covid outbreak. But nothing we can do as the situation is bad. Human lives are the most important thing and I have to keep patience and practice every day till the game happens. We will use this extended time to upskill our game, make better strategies against other Asian athletes and delve deep to understand their gameplay.

Shikhar Choudhary, Indian Hearthstone contingent member:
It is pretty shocking news. All the players are already training and have scheduled everything around the Asian games 2022. I am already dedicating all of my time to the game. Hope the situation in China will become normal soon, and it would not be postponed to a very distant date.

Karthik Varma, Indian Hearthstone contingent member:
Games are postponed for a genuine reason and I, as an athlete will focus on continuing my practice and my training plan. It really doesn’t affect anything from my side as I am only focusing on my part which is giving my best and keep grinding to bring a medal for India.

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Akshaj Shenoy, Team India League of Legends Captain:
Firstly I would like to wish China a speedy recovery and hope the situation doesn’t worsen for them. It deeply saddens me to know that the Asian Games has been postponed but on the bright side, we can use the extra months of practice and come back stronger and give them a mightier battle.

Moin Ejaz, Team India DOTA 2 Captain:
We were very excited and looking forward to playing in this year’s Asian Games to represent India and the face the good teams from other counties but now since the Asian games got postponed we will have to wait till the next dates are fixed. On the brighter side, it will give us more time to practise and bring our A-game into the esports arena with better coordination, communication and strategy within our team.

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