'League of Legends,' 'Starcraft II' to debut at 2018 Asian Games

MANILA, Philippines – The Asian Esports Federation (AESF) and the Olympic Council of Asia have confirmed the videogames that will be played at the upcoming 2018 Asian Games: League of Legends, Starcraft II, Hearthstone, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, Clash Royale, and Arena of Valor

The AESF made the announcement on their Facebook page.

“We are very excited to see esports making a debut in the Asian Games,” said AESF president Kenneth Fok.

“In the selection of Asian Games Esports, we exercised stringent criteria, i.e. the game must adhere to our vision of promoting integrity, ethics, and fair play. Esports will strive to inspire and motivate the youth of the world to be the best they can be through educational and entertaining interactive challenges,” Fok added. 

How to qualify

The AESF has also published details here on how teams and individuals may qualify:

1. The National Olympic Committees (NOC) for each country will select no more than one individual player or team for each qualifying event before May 31, 2018.  Interested parties can contact their local NOC or email AESF at games@aesf.com for enrollment details.

League of Legends, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, and Arena of Valor are classified as team games while Starcraft II, Clash Royale, and Hearthstone are individual games.

Upon registration, the chosen players or teams will take part in one of 5 regional qualifying competitions: East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, and South East Asia, to be held between June 10 and 20, 2018.

The finalists from the 5 regions will proceed to the 2018 Asian Games.

Here are the number of finalists that will make it to the Games per title and per region, as shown in the AESF website: 


The AESF has also advised players to ask their local NOC for the technical handbook for the competitions.

Demonstration sport

The titles were identified more than a year since the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) announced in April 2017 that esports will officially be a part of the Asian Games – first as a demonstration sport in 2018, and then as an official medal event in 2022. 

This year's Asian Games will be held in Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia from August 18 to September 2. – Rappler.com

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.