The Asian Games have witnessed an unprecedented phenomenon as ESports tickets, costing up to $137, have become as rare as gold dust. As fans of gaming heroes eagerly yearn to witness their favorite players in action, the struggle to secure these coveted tickets has reached an unimaginable level. With the Games being held in the futuristic-looking Hangzhou Esports Center, desperate fans have resorted to signing up multiple times through a lottery system, hoping for a stroke of luck. However, for the unlucky ones, the glimpse of their gaming heroes has been reduced to craning their necks outside the gates, eagerly searching for a glimpse of the official Games buses passing through.
ESports is making its grand debut as a medal event in the Chinese city, marking a significant step towards its potential inclusion in the Olympics. Renowned gamers from all over the world, including South Korea’s legendary Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, are showcasing their prowess in gaming. Seven gaming titles, such as Arena of Valor, League of Legends, and EA Sports FC Online, offer the chance to compete for medals. The popularity of ESports is evident in the fact that it is the only competition at the Games where tickets were initially allocated through an online lottery, further reinforcing its status as a highly sought-after event.
Securing tickets for the ESports competition proved to be a fierce battle for enthusiasts. With prices reaching up to 1,000 yuan ($137), ESports tickets became one of the most expensive events to attend at the Asiad. Xu Kezhen, a fervent 20-year-old fan, experienced the intensity of the ticket acquisition process, trying five or six times before finally succeeding. The Chinese team draws massive support, adding to the rush for tickets. Fans frantically aimed to grab their ticket and show their unwavering support for both their favorite players and the Chinese team. Zhao Xiaohan, who went to great lengths by signing up for every possible lottery, eventually triumphed in securing a prized ticket, emphasizing the challenge and some element of luck involved. However, even for the fortunate ones like Jiang Xinyou, who managed to obtain tickets, the disappointment of not being able to witness the Chinese team’s matches remained palpable.
Those lucky enough to make it inside the 4,500-capacity arena were greeted with a spectacle of cheering fans waving lightsticks, setting the stage for a memorable experience. As athletes furiously swiped on their phones to control the two-dimensional “heroes” battling onscreen, the audience erupted in support and excitement. The true spirit of ESports came alive within the confines of the arena, encapsulating the passion and dedication of both the players and fans.
Efforts to Prevent Scalping
Games organizers, mindful of the soaring demand for ESports tickets, took measures to prevent scalping. Although the total number of tickets remains undisclosed, spectators are required to register their identification documents when purchasing tickets and present them upon entering the venue. These measures aim to ensure fairness and deter opportunistic reselling of tickets.
The frenzy surrounding ESports tickets at the Asian Games reflects the growing recognition and popularity of competitive gaming. With a dramatic struggle to secure tickets, fans have gone to great lengths and endured significant expenses in order to witness their gaming heroes in action. The debut of ESports as a medal event marks a milestone towards its potential inclusion in the Olympics, underscoring its significance in the world of sports. However, amidst the challenges, lucky spectators who manage to enter the arena find themselves immersed in an electric atmosphere, cheering on their favorite players and contributing to the vibrant spirit of ESports.