Road to Asian Games Officially Launches in Hong Kong
At the launch ceremony, representatives from the Olympic Council of Asia, Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, and Officials from Hong Kong, China, Government Agencies were also present to congratulate and support the RDAG Hong Kong program for their Esports Journey to Hangzhou, China PR.
Mr. Haider Farman, Director for Sports for the Asian Games at the Olympic Council of Asia, welcomed the attendees, “There is so much potential for esports in this region and I assure you, that the OCA has the Asian esports community’s best interest when it comes to collaborations and support.
In preparation for the big event, the necessary steps are underway, and alongside our counterparts at the AESF, and as Director of the Olympic Council of Asia, Asian Games Department, allow me to welcome everyone to The Road to Asian Games 2022.
Together with the AESF, we will be working closely with local federations to organize qualifying rounds, national team selections as well as the final draws and seedings for teams who make it to the final rounds.”
Mr. Timothy Fok, President of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, said "On October 16, 2020, the Olympic Council of Asia announced that esports will become an official medal sport of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, which was highly well received by everyone considering esports is a very strong competition. The competition focuses on thinking ability, reaction time and team spirit. In this regard, I believe Hong Kong has the advantage, and we definitely aim for good results at the Hangzhou Asian Games.”
Having successfully joined the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China last year, the Esports Association Hong Kong will announce the final Hong Kong esports team list on their website in May.
Mr Kenneth Fok, President of AESF, said "After years of hard work promoting the industry, esports has gradually grown and been receiving the recognition it deserves. Its inclusion in this year's Hangzhou Asian Games is very encouraging and has also cemented a new milestone for esports. We will also work together with all partners to let all audiences experience the charm of esports at the Asian Games. At the same time, we aim to promote esports development in Asia to a higher level.”
The conference was also attended by AESF Director General, Mr Sebastian Lau. Mr Lau was enthusiastic about Hong Kong’s commitment to the RDAG program, stating “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to HK Olympic Committee for their continued strong support to the development of esports in Hong Kong.”
“AESF has been working with the Esports Association Hong Kong (ESAHK) since 2018, when the Road to Jakarta Asian Games was launched in Hong Kong and the first esports qualifier event for Asian Games was held successfully. At the time, Hong Kong had welcomed esports athletes from across Asia and it was a memorable occasion for the fans and the global esports community. I am optimistic at our ability to select the best esports athletes to represent Hong Kong, China and bring the first official esports medals back and make the Hong Kong people proud.”
Mr Steve Kim, Chief Operating Officer of AESF, shared a brief introduction to the RDAG Regionals, including competition details as well as event and support plans for athletes, fans and esports enthusiasts from all around the region.
In addition to the official confirmation of the participation of Hong Kong to the RDAG launching program, Japan, Malaysia, and several other countries have committed to take part in the initiative.
Mr Eddy Chen, President of the Esports Association Hong Kong, said "The Esports Association Hong Kong is very honored to be responsible for selecting esports players representing Hong Kong to participate at the Hangzhou Asian Games. We have been actively promoting the development of Hong Kong's esports industry for many years. We will continue to provide competition opportunities, improve the level of esports in Hong Kong, drive the development of the industry, strive for opportunities to participate in international competitions, and help players go international!"
The Acting Secretary for Home Affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, Mr Jack Chan, and the Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr David Chung, also cheered for Hong Kong esports players.
Mr Jack Chan said, "The SAR Government has always put great importance on the development of emerging sports, allocating $100 million in the 2018 Budget to promote the development of the esports industry through Cyberport, including the establishment of professional esports venues to hold regular competitions and events, as well as supporting esports industry start-ups and talent cultivation. In addition, the government further provided business facilitation measures in 2019 to exempt eligible esports venues from applying for game console licenses. The Home Affairs Bureau sincerely wishes the "Hong Kong Esports Premier League" success, and I hope the selected Hong Kong representatives will go all out to strive for good results.”
Mr David Chung said, "We are delighted that the 19th Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou in 2022, and esports will be included as an official event for the first time. I hope that Hong Kong athletes can make persistent efforts and strive for good results. I also wish the 2nd season of the "Hong Kong Esports Premier League" much success.