The hottest sports ticket in Asia-Pacific right now isn’t for a soccer match, an NBA exhibition game or even a swim meet. It is for the medal event debut of competitive video gaming, or esports.

The milestone moment is taking place at the quadrennial Asian Games — sometimes referred to as an "Asian Olympics.” Leading up to the games, at least 5 million people applied for the right to buy a pricey ticket to the futuristic purpose-built esports arena in Hangzhou, China, the host city. No other event, from basketball to table tennis, had near the demand, much less a ticket lottery.

But so far, the Olympics, the world’s preeminent sporting competition, has no intention of following Asia’s lead. That’s a mistake. With hundreds of millions of fans and players, esports can bring a desperately needed infusion of youth, cultural relevance and money to the lagging and scandal-plagued Olympics.