Asian body steps up lobby for inclusion of esports in 2021 SEA Games

Jul 19, 2020

THE Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) has sought the support of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the National Electronic Sports Federation of the Philippines (NESFP) for the inclusion of esports in the 2021 Southeast Asian Games calendar.

AESF director general Sebastian Lau wrote NESFP about the bid to keep esports in next year’s SEA Games.

Last year, the first ever esports SEA Games competition was held in Manila with the Philippines winning six gold medals to emerge as the overall champion.

E-sports is part of the 2024 Paris Olympics, but as a demonstration sport.

“We found out [about] the news that Vietnam has not included esports as one of the official games, and currently it is in a process where the participating countries send an (appeal) letter to the host," Lau wrote in the letter to NESFP president Ramon Suzara.

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    “The AESF would like our federations in Southeast Asia to be united and support the Olympic collaboration agenda. To further support our unification, we would like to encourage you to advocate the inclusion of esports as a medal event at the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi.”

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    As per reports, Vietnam is planning to stage a maximum of 36 sports instead of 46 due to budget cuts brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,

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    POC president Abraham Tolentino said he will lobby for inclusion of more sports in the 2021 SEA Games calendar.

    “This lobby from the AESF is a welcome development for esports,” said Suzara. “All SEA Games countries have already adopted esports and they would want the sport to be played in Vietnam next year.”

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