Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) President Kenneth Fok has expressed his confidence that esports will become an official medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, despite Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) director general Husain Al Musallam warning it needs a single International Federation before it can be included.
Fok was speaking during a press conference that served to provide an update on esports here at the 2018 Asian Games, where it is featuring as a demonstration event.
The Hong Kong official admitted the AESF, the solely recognised Federation for esports by the OCA, needs to make sure that "every party is on the same page" and that from his conversations with the OCA and its President, Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, the continental governing body is "very supportive of our sport and also very hopeful of it being a medal sport in Hangzhou".
At present, esports does not have an International Olympic Committee (IOC)-recognised International Federation so is not in a position to apply for Olympic inclusion.
"I think a prerequisite for the games entering the Olympic agenda is that they will need an International Federation recognised by the IOC and GAISF (Global Association of International Sports Federations) to have this bridge and to build this partnership with," Fok, the son of OCA vice-president and former IOC member Timothy, said.
"I understand that
"But with regard to the Asian Games, I hope that we have proved ourselves to be a valuable partner here at these Asian Games in Jakarta.
"Moving forward, as I said, there are many bridges to be built, but we are going to strengthen the relationship between us and the OCA, and also with the upcoming Organising Committee.
"I won't kid you, there will be a lot of conversations to have, but I'm very confident."
Speaking earlier this month after an OCA Executive Board meeting, Al Musallam claimed esports is not finally decided to be officially in the programme at Hangzhou 2022.
"There needs to be one International Federation," he said.
"Now there are so many International Federations for esports.
"They have to get together to decide one governing body.
"To be official in the programme and not demonstration, it has to be one international sport."
The 2018 Asian Games features six esports titles whereby the offline final rounds of competition are due to take place until Saturday (September 1).
The titles are Arena of Valor, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, League of Legends, Clash Royale, StarCraft 2 and Hearthstone.
Last month, esports took another step on the path towards possible Olympic inclusion in the future after the IOC and the GAISF agreed to establish a liaison group.
The decision was taken following the esports forum jointly hosted by the IOC and GAISF in Lausanne.
The exact composition of the group, which will include IOC and International Federation representatives, has not been confirmed but they will be given the chance to present at the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires in Argentina on October 5 and 6.
Further discussions are then set to take place at the IF Forum in Lausanne in November, while IOC President Thomas Bach revealed the topic will also be on the agenda at December's Olympic Summit.