The China Hangzhou Esports Centre has welcomed spectators for one of the first times ©Hangzhou 2022

The Hangzhou 2022 esports venue has held one of its first events with spectators - national King of Glory finals.

Tickets for the event at the China Hangzhou Esports Centre were on sale to the public, according to Hangzhou 2022.

The venue can house more than 4,000 spectators and was purpose-built for the Asian Games.

It opened in March this year and the Organising Committee has in recent weeks been showing off its exterior lighting.

King of Glory is popular in China and an international adaptation of the battle game, Arena of Valor, is due to be contested at the delayed Asian Games.

Hangzhou 2022 is the first edition of the Asian Games where esports is a full medal sport, with eight medal events planned.

New dates of September 23 to October 8 next year have been set by the Olympic Council of Asia.

The China Hangzhou Esports Centre has been built for the Asian Games ©Hangzhou 2022
The China Hangzhou Esports Centre has been built for the Asian Games ©Hangzhou 2022

It is among a number of sporting events in China to be either cancelled or delayed because of the COVID-19 crisis, with the nation's borders still largely shut as it pursues a "zero-COVID" strategy.

It did stage the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games earlier this year, inside a "closed-loop management system" which kept all participants away from the Chinese public. 

The schedule of COVID-19-hit international events has also brought China's record on human rights under scrutiny.

Several Western nations took part in a diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 citing China's persecution of Uyghur Muslims but Asian countries largely did not join. 

The United Nations (UN) has found that "serious human rights violations have been committed" in the Xinjiang region against Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities.

China still denies the UN findings.

Hangzhou 2022 is scheduled to be China's third staging of the Asian Games, following Beijing 1990 and Guangzhou 2010.