In South Korea, the law exempts athletes, classical and traditional musicians, and ballet dancers and other dancers from military service if they have won top prizes in certain competitions and are considered to have improved their national prestige.
Whether online players should be included in the exemption has been a topic of discussion in South Korea, but there were no signs of disagreement at the Hangzhou e-sports stadium during the gold medal matches, where many in the crowd They waved South Korean flags and cheered. out loud as his team beat Taiwan.
South Korea’s Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, known to most as the GOAT of League of Legends, was sick and did not play in the best-of-three finals against Taiwan. However, since he played in previous games, he will also be granted exemption from military service that all able-bodied men must perform between the ages of 18 and 28, which came just in time for the 27-year-old. -old Lee.
However, his teammates took over admirably, comfortably beating Taiwan in two games fueled by strong performances from Park Jaehyeok and Choi Wooje.
“I was sad that I couldn’t play in the gold medal match,” said Lee, who still received the biggest applause on the podium when the gold medals were awarded. “However, from a team point of view, everyone gave a great effort.” Good job, so I think winning the championship is the best, no matter how it is done.”
Earlier in the day, the Chinese League of Legends team held on to take bronze, overcoming a strong challenge from Vietnam.
As the global gaming market continues to grow in player numbers and revenue, esports took its place this year at the Asian Games as a competitive sport for the first time and has been an audience favorite so far. It is the only event for which the organizers have had to introduce a lottery system for tickets.
The esports competition features five PC games and two mobile games, covering both the multiplayer online battle arena, or MOBA, and single-player genres.
League of Legends is one of the most popular games, in which two teams of five champions face off in an attempt to destroy each other’s base.
The purpose-built 4,500-seat esports stadium was packed for both matches on Friday, with spectators watching the players on a circular stage below and following the action on huge television screens above.
Some dressed as League of Legends champions while cheering on their teams.
Players, using their personal keyboards and mice, sat in gaming chairs in front of side-by-side monitors at long tables, communicating via headsets.
Esports first appeared at the recent Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, as a demonstration sport and proved incredibly popular, so it was added to the competition this year in Hangzhou.
In addition to League of Legends, the lineup consists of: Arena of Valor Asian Games Version (also known as Honor of Kings); Peace Elite Asian Games version (also known as PUBG Mobile); Dota 2; Dream Three Kingdoms 2; Street Fighter V: Champion Edition; and EA Sports FC (also known as FIFA Online 4).
Forms of competition vary by genre, but gold medals will be awarded for each game.
China took gold on Tuesday at Arena of Valor, Thailand won gold at EA Sports FC on Wednesday, and South Korea won gold at Street Fighter V on Thursday. Kim Gwanwoo, the South Korean who won Street Fighter gold, is 44 years old, so the military exemption was not in question.
Newzoo, a research company that specializes in tracking the global gaming market, projected in its annual analysis released last month that the number of gamers worldwide will reach 3.38 billion in 2023, a year-on-year increase of 6.3%. . Annual revenue is expected to grow 2.6% to $187.7 billion.
The International Olympic Committee has looked eagerly at the potential of video games and virtual sports to help attract and stay relevant among young audiences, and this month created a formal esports commission with a focus on virtual sports.
AP Sports: https://apnews.com/sports