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Hearthstone Is Removed From Hangzhou Asian Games

The upcoming 2022 Asian Games’ esports division will be short of one prominent game this year: Hearthstone.

In a recent post on the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) website, the Asian Games 2022 which is (finally) taking place in Hangzhou, China this year will be removing Hearthstone from the esports programme. This is due to the recent negotiations fallout between Activision Blizzard and Netease, which resulted in the game’s operating rights and partnership ending without any conclusion.

This results in servers hosting Hearthstone in China being shut down, with the team managing the game being disbanded. Efforts were made to resolve the issue with AESF, but no solution has been found.

Full details are below:

“In November 2022, negotiations between Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase regarding the extension of operating rights and their partnership agreement ended without reaching a conclusion. As a result, all servers hosting Hearthstone on the Chinese Mainland have been shut down and the team managing the game has been disbanded. This has left the game in a state where it is unable to be included as one of the competition events at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Efforts were made to resolve the issue with the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF). However, there was no significant progress in finding a solution. After extensive discussions with the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (HAGOC), it was proposed that Hearthstone be removed from the competition program.

On the 16th of March, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) confirmed the decision proposed by HAGOC and the AESF for the removal of Heartstone during the fifth Coordination Committee meeting. “

Following the removal of Hearthstone, the esports programme at the 2022 Asian Games will still feature the following titles as medal events: Arena of Valor, Dota 2, FIFA, League of Legends, PUBG Mobile, Dream of the Three Kingdoms 2, and Street Fighter 5. The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games will be hosted from 23 September 2023 to 8 October 2023.

No news on whether we will be getting a replacement esports title to fill the Hearthstone-sized gap, but we will definitely report on it once we have anything on it.

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