Hearthstone's Removal Shakes Up Asian Games 2023 Esports Program

The exclusion of Hearthstone from the Asian Games 2023 esports program is a significant setback for the Indian esports team.

Credit- Hearthstone
By Naman Alok | Jul 2, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Esports, the world of competitive video gaming, has been rapidly gaining popularity and recognition as a legitimate sporting event. The Asian Games, a prestigious multi-sport event held every four years, is set to include esports as a medal event for the first time in 2023. However, a recent announcement has shocked the gaming community. Hearthstone, a popular online digital collectible card game, has been removed from the esports program for the Asian Games 2023, scheduled to take place in Hangzhou, China. This decision has raised eyebrows and sparked discussions among players and fans alike. Hearthstone’s Removal Shakes Up Asian Games 2023 Esports Program.

The Exclusion of Hearthstone

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), in collaboration with the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (HAGOC) and the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF), made the decision to exclude Hearthstone from the Asian Games 2023 esports program. This decision was approved during the fifth Coordination Committee meeting held in Hangzhou.

Hearthstone was initially chosen as one of the eight esports events to be featured at the Hangzhou Asian Games. However, negotiations between Blizzard Entertainment, the developer of Hearthstone, and NetEase, the company responsible for operating rights and partnership, fell through. The failure to reach an agreement resulted in the removal of Hearthstone from the roster of games.

Impact on the Indian Esports Team

The exclusion of Hearthstone from the Asian Games 2023 esports program is a significant setback for the Indian esports team. At the previous Asian Games in 2018, held in Jakarta, Hearthstone was featured as a demonstration event. Tirth Mehta, a talented Indian player, achieved a remarkable feat by winning a bronze medal in Hearthstone. The removal of Hearthstone from the official program means that Mehta and other Indian players will not have the opportunity to compete in the game they excelled at in previous years.

Esports as a Medal Event

Esports will make its official debut as a full-fledged medal event at the Asian Games 2023. This milestone signifies the growing recognition of esports as a legitimate and mainstream sporting activity. Medals won by competitors in esports will count towards the final medal tally, further cementing its status as an integral part of the Asian Games.

The Remaining Games

Although Hearthstone will not be part of the Asian Games 2023 esports competition, seven other games will still be featured. These games include FIFA Online 4, PUBG Mobile Asian Games version, Arena of Valor Asian Games version, Dota 2, League of Legends, Dream Three Kingdoms 2, and Street Fighter V. These games cover a diverse range of genres and are expected to provide thrilling competition for both players and spectators.

The removal of Hearthstone from the Asian Games 2023 esports program has left many fans disappointed and surprised. The game’s exclusion serves as a reminder of the complex negotiations and partnerships involved in the world of competitive gaming. Despite this setback, esports will still be a highly anticipated and exciting addition to the Asian Games. The inclusion of seven other games ensures that there will be plenty of fierce competition and thrilling moments for fans to enjoy.

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