League of Legends to Be a Featured Esport in 2018 Asian Games

League of Legends Jinx Vi
(Photo: Riot Games)

League of Legends will be part of the 2018 Asian Games as one of six games included for the first time in the massive sports event.

The Asian Esports Federation chose the games that would be featuring during this year’s competition with popular titles and even some mobile games included in the esports lineup. The full list (via SEA IGN) includes League of Legends, Starcraft II, Hearthstone, Pro Evolution Soccer, Clash Royale, and Arena of Valor. No information has been released yet regarding how players will be selected to represent the 45 nations that are taking part in the 2018 Asian Games.

Riot Games issued a statement (via Dot Esports) regarding League of Legends being included in this year’s Asian Games.

“We're honored that League of Legends was selected for the Asian Games," said Jarred Kennedy, co-head of esports at Riot Games. "Representing one's country at the Olympics is a dream for athletes around the world, and with this step, that dream is one step closer to reality for the best in our sport. We admire and respect the values of the Olympic movement and look forward to supporting the Olympic Council of Asia in making this competition a success.”

Riot also added that it would be working with the Olympic Council of Asia as well as the nations included in the Asian Games to set up the tournament and structure the way that the teams will be chosen for the competition. The regional qualifiers will take place in June for all 45 countries that are participating. Indonesia, the host country for the 2018 Asian Games, will receive a guaranteed spot I the main competition while South Asia, Central Asia, and West Asia will all boast one team while the esports-filled South East Asia will host four different teams.

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While the announcement of the games that are featured in the competition is new, the news that esports titles would be featured in the Asian Games is not. Last year, it was announced that esports would be coming to the 2018 Asian Games as well as the next Asian Games taking place four years later in 2022. It’s hard to imagine that the competitive games like League of Legends and Starcraft II wouldn’t be included, though those outside of the mobile game field may be surprised to see both Clash Royale and Arena of Valor.

The 2018 Asian Games will take place in Indonesia from August 18 to Sept. 2.