Time to take esports more seriously
For many Chinese esports players, it's a dream come true to see esports appear at a major global athletic event.
For the first time, esports appeared at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, as a demonstration sport, which was held from Aug 18 to Sept 2. There are even plans to make esports an official medal event at the 2022 Asian Games, which will be held in Hangzhou.
There were six games played this time: Arena of Valor, League of Legends (LOL), Pro Evolution Soccer, Clash Royale, StarCraft II and Hearthstone.
For esports players, this could be a chance for them to show that they could be just like athletes of other sports.
"Sport doesn’t mean you must sweat. Gaming uses a lot of mental skill rather than physical," Lee Sang-hyeok, a South Korean professional LOL player, told Reuters.
"It takes a lot of mental strength and requires a lot of effort and tough training, so I think esports could be even tougher than any other sports."
It was because of the popularity with young people that esports was included in the Asian Games, reported Japan Times.
"Esports is a popular trend among young people. We can never cut this connection with the young," Wei Jizhong, Olympic Council of Asia honorary president, told China Daily. The International Olympic Committee is also considering including esports in the Olympic Games to attract young audiences.
Many young Chinese people are also fans of esports. According to the 2017 Blue Book of China's Society, released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, more than 38 percent of Chinese people younger than 26 said their ideal job would be to work as a professional esports player.
However, it's not as easy as it sounds. "To be a professional esports player, it requires both talent and a large amount of practice to stand out among many others," Wu Meng, 26, a Sichuan University graduate who used to be a professional Hearthstone player, told TEENS.
For students who want to be a professional esports player, Wu suggested to think differently. "Esports is about competing to realize your own value, while playing electronic games is about entertainment and relaxation," he said.
"Some top esports players flourish and succeed, while many average players are forced to give up halfway. But if you're gifted and determined to be a professional esports player, maybe you'll be lucky enough to be the next champion of esports at the Asian Games."