Alibaba wants to impose esports as an official discipline in Asia

by bold-lichterman

  • Alibaba has partnered with the Olympic Council of Asia to bring e-sports into the 2018 and 2022 Asian Games.
  • Last summer, the Chinese e-merchant already pledged to invest 135 million euros in the International Electronic Sports Federation (IESF).
  • Electronic sports related revenues are expected to approach $ 700 million in 2017.

Ali Baba continues its offensive in electronic sport. The Chinese e-commerce giant, through its sports subsidiary Alisports, has in fact entered into a partnership with the Olympic Council of Asia to integrate electronic sports into the Asian Games of 2018 and 2022, which will take place respectively in Jakarta (Indonesia) and in Hangzhou (China).

This announcement is part of Alibaba’s esports strategy. Last summer, the Chinese e-merchant already pledged to invest 135 million euros in the International Electronic Sports Federation (IESF). The two entities have decided to join forces so that e-sport is recognized as a sports discipline initially, then as an Olympic discipline in the long term.

A market worth 1.5 billion dollars in 2020

To support the emergence of e-sports in Asia, Alibaba launched in April 2016 the World Electronic Sports Games, a major e-sports competition endowed with 5 million euros. The Chinese e-commerce giant is also planning to set up e-sports complexes across China.

The esports market is currently booming internationally. According to a Newzoo report, e-sport-related revenues should approach $ 700 million in 2017, against $ 500 million in 2016, and reach nearly $ 1.5 billion by 2020. Last year, e -sport brought together 323 million spectators around the world. In 2020, this figure is expected to climb to 589 million spectators.

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