The Olympic Council of Asia has postponed the 19th Asian Games as China experiences its largest outbreak of COVID since the early days of the pandemic, with the Omicron variant running rife.
This Friday, the Olympic Council of Asia took to their website to announce a set of changes to both the 19th Asian Games, as well the Asian Youth Games that were set to take place at the end of 2022. “The Olympic Council of Asia has announced that the 19th Asian Games, originally scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25, 2022, will be postponed,” The official website’s statement read.
The Hangzhou, China location would have been the third Chinese city to host the continental tournament after Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010. Regarding the Asian Youth Games, the OCA revealed that the event, which would have been the third Asian Youth Games and was scheduled for December 20-28 in Shantou, China has been cancelled.
“After discussion with the COC and the Organising Committee, the OCA EB decided that as the Asian Youth Games had already been postponed once, the Asian Youth Games Shantou 2021 will be cancelled", the press release stated. The next Asian Youth Games will take place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 2025.
At the time of writing, it is unclear as to when the rescheduled Asian Games will take place. With the League of Legends World Championships due to take place in October and early-November as well, the recent spike in the Omicron Variant could see the 19th Asian Games be postponed until 2023 and have significant ramifications for other sports and esports events.
The 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China was due to host multiple esports tournaments including events for titles such as League of Legends, Street Fighter V, Hearthstone, FIFA 2022, and several mobile titles. However, those plans will be postponed as the Olympic Council of Asia determines their next steps and a new timeframe for the event.