When I think of Mongolia, I think of rather extreme climate, grasslands, and really pretty scenery - not rising stars in the Asian game tournament world. But a couple of Mongolian gamers are hoping to challenge Korea and China for dominance, at least in East Asia (and, I would presume, not in the realm of StarCraft): Mongolia's fielding a gaming team for the 2nd Asian Indoor Games, taking place in Macau from 26 October to 3 November this year. And despite going up against the big guys, they really want to take home the gold - Mongolia's actual soccer team may fall flat in competition, but Lkhagvasuren Byambasuren is planning on taking home the gold when it comes to the game version.
At a testing event in August, Byambasuren won gold, so he can lay some claim to being a front-runner. "I play for my country because the Mongolian real-life soccer team is not very successful," says Byambasuren. "I want to be the best player in Asia, or even in the world" ....
This dream team will face formidable competition, though. Tsogt Sharavrentsen, the overseas manager of Mongolia's national e-sports program, is most concerned about competition from China and South Korea. Those players, he says, receive better training and are well-supported by both sponsors and their governments.
Probably more notable than Mongolia's participation is the sheer fact that the Olympic Council of Asia decided games ought to be included in multi-sport events like the AIG. Doesn't mean we'll be seeing WoW as an Olympic discipline any time soon, but at least in Asia, the gaming elite will be showcased in competition next to the real football and basketball players.