The German coalition of parties CDU, CSU and SPD has included in the recently published draft of the coalition agreement that it will be government policy to recognize e-sports in Germany as a full-fledged sport.
This gives e-sports in Germany the same rights as other sports associations and organisations. The German government has included this in the agreement, because it is noted that the ‘e-sports landscape’ in Germany is growing. The coalition agreement also states that e-sports train skills that are not only important in the digital world. The Sportschau writes that the chairman of the German e-sports association ESBD expressed himself positively about the development. He speaks of a ‘huge step forward’. The site reports that the coalition agreement can still be destroyed by a veto by SPD members.
The government will also support the ‘Olympic perspective’. That is not explained further, but it indicates that the government will support efforts to get e-sports recognized as an Olympic sport. Even though e-sports in Pyeongchang, South Korea, could not count on too many positive reactions from athletes prior to the upcoming start of the Olympic Games, according to Reuters, the sport is slowly being taken more and more seriously in the Olympic context.
In August last year, it emerged that the IOC was considering introducing e-sports as part of the 2024 Paris Olympics. Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, later said that only non-violent games would be considered as e-sports. to be included in the programme.
E-sports is not yet part of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, even though a Korean e-sports team torched part of the Olympic relay race in January and a prize-money e-sports event was recently held in the Korean city.
E-sports are very popular in Asia. E-sports were already part of the program at the 2017 Asian Indoor Games: there were competitions in the games Hearthstone, StarCraft 2, King of Fighters and Dota 2. E-sports will also be a part later this year in 2018 and in 2022 of the Asian variant of the Olympic Games, the Asian Games.