Esports is once again officially included in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), as the 31st edition of the biennial meet will be slated from November 21 to December 2 next year.

/ 25 November 2020

The news had leaked out last month and the confirmation was made recently by the organizer behind the upcoming biennial games.

“The AESF is proud to announce that after months of lobbying and numerous discussions, esports is officially returning as a medal sporting event at the upcoming 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam,” said the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF), the sole governing body for the sport in Asia.

However, further details are to be announced at a later time including the tournament format, game titles contested and national team selection guides.

“Everyone is totally on board with the inclusion of esports into the SEA Games, and I feel the continued presence in Vietnam will continue the momentum which we’ve been riding since 2019,” said AESF Director-General Sebastian Lau.

“Originally, esports was not included as one of the 36 disciplines as part of the event which was released by the host nation back in July. This prompted AESF to drum up support to lobby for the inclusion of esports through the submissions of requests from participating countries during the appealing process thereafter. Today, we can now proudly and officially celebrate the inclusion of esports at the 2021 SEA Games,” he further added.

During the 2019 SEA Games hosted by the Philippines, the first time esports appeared in the regional competition, the Philippine esports national team dominated the event with a total of five medals, including three golds.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Arena Of Valor, Dota 2, Tekken 7, Starcraft 2, and Hearthstone were the six contested events in the inauguration of esports in the biennial meet.

According to an article in Vietnam Express International quoting an official of the Vietnam Recreation and Esports Association, Dota 2, Arena of Valor, and Pro Evolution Soccer would be among the titles to be played in the 31st SEAG, however, there are no official games released yet.

Sports to be included in the Vietnam SEA Games in 2021 are swimming, archery, athletics, basketball, billiards, bodybuilding, bowling, boxing, canoeing, chess, cycling, dancesport, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, judo, jujitsu, karate, kickboxing, muay tai, silat, pétanque, rowing, sepaktakraw, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, vovinam, weightlifting, wrestling, and wushu.