Esports was not included in the initial events lined for the 31st Southeast Asian Games
Philippines, Asian body push for esports inclusion in next SEA Games
Joey Villar ( - July 16, 2020 - 4:02pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will have an ally in Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) when it lobbies for the inclusion of esports in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam next year.

AESF director general Sebastian Lau said in a letter to National Sports Federation of the Philippines (NESFP) president Ramon Suzara that the former is intensely bidding for inclusion of the sport in the biennial games after it was not in the initial list of calendar recently released by the host country.

“I am writing this letter to seek your support in driving our Olympic collaboration agenda for the upcoming 2021 SEAG in Hanoi,” said Lau. “We found out 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 to the hosting country.”

The Philippines ruled esports with a haul of three golds, a silver and a bronze in the last SEAG in December.

But it was not on the initial list when Vietnamese proposed only 36 sports, or 20 less when the country held 56 last time, after cutting its budget to half due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino had earlier stated appealing for sports the country are strong at but was excluded from the program.

“This lobby from the AESF is a welcome development for e-sports, which was already adopted by all SEAG countries and I’m sure they would want it to be played in Vietnam,” said Suzara.

The online games have gained ground in the international scene after being adopted by the International Olympic Committee as a demonstration event in Paris in 2024.

It was already played in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia as a demo-sport.

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