Esports fans flocked to the China Hangzhou Esports Centre to watch the action unfold ©Getty Images

History was made at the Asian Games here as China became the first-ever esports gold medallists with victory in the Arena of Valor final.

Esports is making its first appearance as a medal event at the Games after featuring as a demonstration sport at Jakarta Palembang 2018.

It is being viewed as a milestone moment for the industry as the Chinese team of Sun Linwei, Luo Siyuan, Lin Heng, Chi Xiaoming, Xu Bicheng and Jiang Tao etched their names in esports and Asian Games folklore.

Staged at the state-of-the-art China Hangzhou Esports Centre, China registered 2-0 wins over both Myanmar and Thailand to set up a gold-medal match against Malaysia.

Thailand secured the first esports medal, beating Vietnam 2-0 to seal bronze before China took on Malaysia in the final of the Arena of Valor - an international adaptation of the battle game.

Sun, Luo, Lin, Chi, Xu and Jiang proved too strong for the Malaysian team, triumphing 2-0 for an historic title.

"I'm very excited," said Luo.

"This is the first esports Asian Games gold medal, and it comes in Arena of Valor Asian Games version, which is very significant.

"The audience who loves esports and the seniors in the esports industry have been looking forward to this for a long time, and I believe that esports will develop more and more in the future."

Hosts China proved too strong for Malaysia in the Arena of Valor final ©Getty Images
Hosts China proved too strong for Malaysia in the Arena of Valor final ©Getty Images

Malaysia’s manager Wong Kang Woon said he had high hopes for esports future after making its Asian Games debut.

"We have a really young team who put in a lot of hard work but they were facing the giant, China, the biggest nation on both the mobile and the PC side of esports," said Wong.

"Our young players put in the effort to do the best for their country and I hope this medal will really motivate them and the next generation for the Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Games.

"The Olympics is a multisport event.

"Skateboarding, breakdancing and rock climbing are in the Olympics, so why not esports?"

The esports title was one of 14 gold medals won by China on another impressive day for the hosts.

China enjoyed a table tennis double, with victories in both the men’s and women’s team finals.

The women struck first, defeating Japan 3-0 before the men defeated South Korea by the same scoreline.

Home favourite Zhang Boheng captured the men’s all-around title to add another artistic gymnastics gold to China’s tally following the success of the women’s team yesterday.

A score of 89.299 points saw Zhang seal top spot as Japan's Takeru Kitazono claimed silver with 87.03 and China's Lan Xingyu notched 84.965 for bronze.

Japan almost pulled off a sensational comeback only to fall just short against China in the women’s rugby sevens final.

China led 22-0 at half-time before Japan came roaring back after the break only to lose 22-21.

The men’s rugby sevens gold medal was awarded to Hong Kong following their 14-7 victory over South Korea.

Iran secured a third successive men’s volleyball title after coming from behind to defeat China.

The hosts, seeking a first title since Bangkok 1998, got off to a great start before Iran hit back in superb fashion.

Iran dominated the second set before taking the next and edging a tight fourth to wrap up a 19-25, 25-14, 25-22, 26-24 success.

The first medals were also awarded in track cycling, with China winning the women’s team sprint final.

Bao Shanju, Guo Yufang, and Yuan Liying clocked an Asian record time of 46.376sec to defeat South Korea and Malaysia who placed second and third respectively.

China’s hopes of back-to-back track cycling golds were dashed when Guo Shuai, Liu Qi, and Zhou Yu were defeated by Japanese trio Yoshitaku Nagasako, Yuta Obara, and Kaiya Ota who registered a winning time of 42.934 in the women's team sprint final.

Bao Shanju, Guo Yufang, and Yuan Liying delivered men's team sprint gold for China ©Getty Images
Bao Shanju, Guo Yufang, and Yuan Liying delivered men's team sprint gold for China ©Getty Images

Chen Huiying delivered another wushu gold for China with victory in the women’s nangun event, while Indonesia’s Harris Horatius secured the men’s crown in the discipline.

Three more taekwondo titles were handed out today, with China’s Luo Zongshi overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Lo Chia-ling for the women’s under-57 kilograms crown.

South Korea’s Park Hye-jin also defeated a Chinese Taipei opponent in Lin Wei-Chun to bag women’s under-53kg gold, while Thailand’s Banlung Tubtimbang claimed the men’s under-63kg title.

Huang Yuting completed a hat-trick of shooting golds after helping China claim the mixed team 10 metre air rifle crown.

Joining forces with Sheng Lihao, Huang produced a superb performance as the Chinese duo thrashed Uzbekistan's Javokhir Sokhibov and Mukhtasar Tokhirova 16-2.

Indonesia's Muhammad Sejahtera Dwi Putra won his second straight shooting gold with victory in the men's 10m running target mixed run event after scoring 189 points.

Kwak Yong-bin, Ha Kwang-chul, and Jeong You-jin secured men's 10m team running target mixed run gold for South Korea with a score of 1,116 points.

In the fencing competition, an all-Japanese men's individual épée final saw Koki Kano defeat Akira Komata 15-7, while South Korea's Yoon Ji-su overcame China's Shao Yaqi 15-10 to win the women’s individual sabre title.

China enjoyed further swimming success with Li Bingjie securing the women’s 400m freestyle crown in a time of 4:01.96 - over one second quicker than the previous Asian Games record.

Fei Liwei and Peng Xuwei were the other Chinese individual winners in the pool, claiming the respective men’s 1,500m freestyle and women’s 200m backstroke titles, while China’s men's 4x100m medley relay also triumphed.

Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey broke her own Asian record time to win the women's 100m freestyle gold, clocking 52.17 to lower her previous best mark by 0.10.

Tomoru Honda beat fellow Japanese swimmer Daiya Seto to bag men's 400m individual medley gold in 4:11.40.

The final five individual judo golds were also distributed today, including a title for China’s Ma Zhenzhao who shocked Japan’s Rika Takayama in the women’s under-78kg final.

South Korea’s Kim Ha-yun was a class above in the women’s over-78kg division as she overcame Xu Shiyan of China.

Erlan Sherov earned a first gold medal for Kyrgyzstan when he stunned 2022 world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Davlat Bobonov of Uzbekistan in the men’s under-90kg final.

Muzaffarbek Turoboyev of Uzbekistan won men’s under-100kg gold after beating Mongolia’s Batkhuyagiin Gonchigsüren, while Magomedomar Magomedomarov of the United Arab Emirates snatched men’s over-100kg gold from Tajikistan’s Temur Rakhimov with a last-gasp ippon.

There was equestrian joy for Siu Jacqueline Wing Ying of Hong Kong who scored 71.176 points to deny Anush Agarwalla the individual dressage title.

Although Hriday Vripal Chheda and Agarwalla narrowly missed out on individual gold, their scores were vital in securing the team dressage gold for India.

Chheda posted 69.941 points while his compatriot put up 71.088.