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[Other Esports News] 3 Potential Titles for Esports in Asian Games 2026, Aichi-Nagoya.

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3 Potential Titles for Esports in Asian Games 2026, Aichi-Nagoya.

Figure 1-1. Asian Games 2026


Since the early days of gaming, many gamers have had a major dream. A dream to see their beloved games into which they put their heart and soul to get mainstream fame and for their hobby to be accepted by the majority. Which in 2023 has become a reality as the gaming industry has grown to be a billion-dollar industry. But something still feels missing, and I guess it is the under-representation of the competitive side of games, more commonly known as esports in major Olympic events. To be more specific it is the utter lack of anime-based or inspired esports games in such events.

As with the 2022 Asian Games, we got our first official esports event at a global stage which treats players like athletes. But sadly this is only limited to games that look realistic or have hardcore fanbases. This is why I think it is high time that Asian Games looked into adding anime-based or inspired games to their official esports catalog. Reasons for this are numerous as the massive popularity of anime games in Asian countries far outranks any other region. And it would be only fitting that the 2026 Asian Games will be held in Japan, the birthplace of anime, and a country with a lot of experience releasing video games that are used in large-scale esports tournaments like EVO. Hence, we have compiled a list of games that would be perfectly suited for the 2026 Asian games esports category.


Table of Contents
  1. Guilty Gear Strive
  2. Pokemon VGC (Scarlet and Violet)
  3. Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duels

Guilty Gear Strive


[Image: guilty_gear_strive-5.jpg]
Figure 2-1. Guilty Gear Strive

In the pantheon of esports and gaming in general the Guilty Gear franchise and its developer Arcs Systems Works hold an extraordinary place. They have been working on improving and iterating the 2D fighting game genre since the late 90s. An effort that has finally paid off with the best 2D fighting game on the market right now, Guilty Gear Strive. Not only is the game an amalgamation of the best aspects of the franchise it also elevates the combat to new heights. We get to see the return of fan-favorite characters and the addition of characters that have long been in the making. Thematically it is also perfect as the game sees the end of the gear saga that started back in the first game. But one of the major reasons it should be in the Asian games is that it is the first anime-inspired game to have ever been accepted into the mainstream and also featured at the EVO Championship for multiple years. Making it not only a historic game for the genre but also for the fighting game esports scene. It also helps that the game is available on every platform imaginable like the PlayStation, Xbox, Windows, Xbox, and Cloud Gaming.

[Image: guilty_gear_strive-tournament-7.jpg]
Figure 2-2. Guilty Gear Strive EVO 2023


Pokemon VGC (Scarlet and Violet)


[Image: pokemon_scarlet_and_violet-1.jpg]
Figure 3-1. Pokémon VGC

Next on the list, we have a game series that should already be considered a national treasure of Japan and that is the Pokémon series. Over the years despite the many accusations and scandals, the franchise has grown to become culturally defining. With its games gaining a unique kind of fame all on their own, this was the fame of esports or in the context of the series the VGC. As with the latest generation being the Scarlet and Violet games, it seems the series has finally abandoned old ideas and has embraced the new era. This can be seen with the recent change to the battling of Pokémon, as now Pokémon duke it out in the open world. It also helps that the recent changes to the training of Pokémon have also helped evolve the VGC to new heights. Heigts that qualify it for the Asian Games and of all the games mentioned on the list, it is the strongest contender to enter the Asian games as Nintendo and Game Freak have supported the esports scene massively. Such as the now-regulated and moderated regional tournaments which see the winner compete for the title of world champion. It is also a single platform exclusive, that being the Nintendo Switch gives it an edge in being more of a level playing field.

[Image: pokemon_scarlet_and_violet-tournament-2.jpg]
Figure 3-2. Pokémon VGC World Championship


Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duels


[Image: yu_gi_oh!_master%20duel-6.jpg]
Figure 4-1. Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

Last on the list we have a game that is on the list solely due to its massive fame and popularity. Which by many accounts is earned as it has not only revolutionized the card collector and battler genre it has remade it in its image. This game is none other than Konami’s much-acclaimed Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel. A game that was not only able to reignite the fire in a nearly dead fanbase but also managed to do what the original series couldn’t attract a massive audience. This is due to its great combat system which draws upon the collective experience of the series from the 90s and allows players a deck-building freedom other card collectors could only dream about. Konami also is promoting the game more and more due to its high esports potential as the game has already had massive tournaments that give out cash prizes and rare cards. All of these factors play into why the game should be considered for the esports category in the 2026 Asian games. Also, did I mention the game is available on the Switch, PlayStation, Android, Xbox, iOS, and Windows?

[Image: yu_gi_oh!_master%20duel-tournament-8.jpg]
Figure 4-2. Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel World Championship


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