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Business trends

'Mobile esports' shine on Asian Games debut

Surging popularity prompts Tencent, Xiaomi and Samsung to chase growing format

Players compete in the mobile phone based video game Arena of Valor in a demonstration match at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on Aug. 26. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

JAKARTA -- As the Chinese athletes squared up to their opponents, the Taiwanese team Chinese Taipei, in the tournament final, the stadium echoed with cries of "jiayou!" -- "Come on!" The stadium was filled with Chinese fans, some of whom had traveled from China just to see the team play. It was like any other sporting event -- except that the match was being played virtually.

Arena of Valor, a multiplayer online battle arena game developed and published by China's Tencent Games, is one of the six video games chosen as demonstration sport at the Asian Games 2018 held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia. AoV, as the game is known, is a strategy game that pits teams of five against each other to infiltrate an enemy's territory and destroy its base. Esports, or competitive multiplayer video gaming, is even being considered as an official medal sport at the next Asian Games in 2022.

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