E-sports, mixed martial arts provide updates, plans at OCA meeting

E-sports, mixed martial arts provide updates, plans at OCA meeting

Singapore, April 9, 2024: The OCA E-Sports and Martial Arts Committee received an update on both sports during an online meeting on Tuesday, April 9.

In opening the meeting, committee chair Gordon Tang spoke of the “tremendous growth and potential of both e-sports and mixed martial arts in our modern society”.

He added: “The 2023 reports for MMA and e-sports will provide us with valuable insights into the progress, challenges and achievements of both sectors over the past year. They also serve as a foundation upon which we can build our strategies and initiatives for the coming year.

“As we look into the rest of 2024, this meeting is an opportune moment for us to identify key areas of focus and priorities to further elevate and advance MMA and e-sports.”

Members heard that the Asian Mixed Martial Arts Association now has 36 member federations, held two seminars in 2023 as well as the first Asian Mixed Martial Arts Championship in Bangkok last August.

The MMA priorities for 2024 will be strengthening and supporting local MMA federations across Asia, developing athletes and training referees. 

MMA will be an official medal sport at the OCA’s 6th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Bangkok and Chonburi province this November, with the MMA taking place over three days from November 27-29 in 20 weight classes.

E-sports looked back on a momentous 2023, with nine titles being contested at the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia in May before e-sports made its debut as an official medal sport at the Hangzhou Asian Games last September/October. 

Seven titles, comprised of five team and two individual games, offered the seven gold medals at Hangzhou, and 476 players representing 30 National Olympic Committees took part.

The third major event for 2023 was the Asian E-sports Festival in Singapore across 10 titles on all gaming platforms in three venues and 892 players.

The priorities for 2024 will be to support the OCA in the selection of titles for the 20th Asian Games in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan in 2026, supporting the OCA at AIMAG 6 this November in Thailand and to encourage e-sports competitions, festivals and summits in Asia. 

The meeting closed with an update from Singapore’s IOC Vice President, Mr. Ng Ser Miang, on the development of e-sports within the Olympic movement and plans for an Olympic E-sports Games.