The 2018 Asian Games, better known as the Jakarta Palembang 2018 is essentially a multi-sport event that will take place from the 18th of August to the 2nd of September in Indonesia. Think of it as the Olympic Games. Both events are held every 4 years, but the Asian Games are only for those who are in the Asian region (hence the name).
Recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the second largest event of its kind (the first being the Olympic games themselves), the 2018 Asian Games will be co-hosted in two cities; the Indonesian capital of Jakarta (which is hosting the Games for the first time since 1962), and Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra province.
Throughout the 2018 Asian Games, events will take place in and around both cities and also in venues such as Bandung and province of West Java. This year, eSports will be making an appearance at the 2018 Asian Games. Added to that, Sri Lanka is taking part in it as well.
Sri Lanka too is taking part in the 2018 Asian Games
Proving that eSports are every bit of an actual sport, a team of Sri Lankan eSports athletes will also be aiming to take part in the 2018 Asian Games. Over the course of the past few years, there have been countless debates on whether or no eSports athletes qualify as professional athletes.
If you think about it, they do. They both follow strict training programmes. They both have strict dietary routines and they both need enormous levels of concentration and focus to win the game.
Aiming to answer these questions, for the first time in Asian Games history, eSports will be contested as a demonstration sport in the Games. Six video game titles will be featured in the event. For the 2018 Asian Games, the titles that have been picked are Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), League of Legends, Starcraft II, Hearthstone, Clash Royale and Arena of Valor.
eSports will only be featured at the 2018 Asian Games as a demonstration sport. This means that medals won in this sport will not be counted included in the official overall medal tally. However, eSports will be a medal event in the next Asian Games which will be held in 2022. It’s definitely a start on the road to make eSports a professional sport for events such as this.
Onwards to the 2018 Asian Games
Given below are the names of the Cyber athletes along with the games they will be taking part in for the 2018 Asian Games.
League of Legends
- Akthar Hafeez
- Shalitha Chandrarathna
- Ashik Saleeth
- Achintha Konara
- Hilal Jismy
- Abith Latiff
- Amruth Alfred
- Joel Joung
Pro Evolution Soccer 18
- Shihab Rizan
Qualifying for the 2018 Asian Games
The Sri Lankan cyber athletes will first have to prove their worthiness by taking part in qualifiers for these games. Currently the team representing Sri Lanka for League of Legends will be leaving tonight for Vietnam. Their qualifier matches will be held from the 10-11th of June 2018.
Qualifiers for Pro Evolution Soccer, Clash Royale, StarCraft 2 and Hearthstone will all be carried out online beginning from the 12th of June onwards. The Clash Royale qualifier will be held in Hong Kong on the 12th as well.
A word from the Athletes themselves
“For the first time in Sri Lankan eSports, we are selected to participate in a massive event such as Asian games and I’m proud and honored to be able to participate in an event of this caliber. We will face a lot of challenges along the way. I’d say the Indian team is the one to watch out for but I have complete faith in my team that we will be able to put up a good fight for every rival nation”, said Shalitha ‘Acelord’ Chandraratne.
We also caught up with Amruth Alfred, who will be representing Sri Lanka playing StartCraft 2, to ask his views on the 2018 Asian Games as well. “I was surprised that there are no FPS games such as Counter-Strike. I was especially surprised that there was no DOTA 2, since it’s extremely popular right now. But instead, there was League of Legends”. Amruth also went on to say that he was “really happy that StarCraft 2 in here. It’s like the father of most games like Warcraft, DOTA, and other RTS games”.
When asked about the challenges he may face, Amruth replied by saying that “StarCraft 2 has its best players from Korea. This means the players who will be participating at the 2018 Asian Games are going to be the best, along with other Asian countries which have really good players. I look forward to the challenge”.
For now, all we can do is wait in excitement and anticipation as we wish all the very best to our cyber athletes as they prepare for perhaps one of the biggest challenges that they’ve ever faced. You can learn more about the 2018 Asian Games by clicking here.