Economic Forum witnesses endorsement of Esports by Russian Minister of Sport
The Minister of Sports from Russia recently spoke about showing favour towards recognizing esports as a kind of sport. However, he also mentioned that it will have little consequence because the society and the industry have already spoken. He said that their job as the government is to put certain legal boundaries for regulation.
As a first of its kind when it comes to esports, St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will host the panel. It will include speakers featuring from the esports scene in Russia and other renowned figures in big business and Russian sports:
• President of Trudovye Rezervy VFSO, Iya Galaev
• General Manager of Virtus.pro, Roman Dvoryankin
• Vice President of Moscow FC Spartak, Nail Izmailov
• Deputy of Duma State of the Russian Federation Federal Assembly, Aleksandr
• President for Belarus, Russia, PepsiCo, Central Asia, Caucasus, and Ukraine, Neil Sturrock
• Director Anton Cherepennikov, Board of Directors Member, ESforce Holding
Esports has been recognized by Russia’s Ministry of Sport as independent, with separate disciplines like sports simulators and strategy games. Another way to look at it is by considering something like Field, Track or Gymnastics which has independent disciplines under a bigger subset where they are classified. This is a result of the inclusion of all characteristics of any sport like leagues, independent tournament systems, rules, training regimens, sport, and many more.
Is eSports Already a Sport?
Russian Minister of Sports Pavel Kolobkov said that they had made the right choice after long discussions because, at this point, esports is already a sport whether or not people or the government recognizes it. It has already been given recognition by the society and people who make it. The only task left for the government is to put legal boundaries and regulate it. This is the reason why esports has now become an established sphere.
Kolobkov, however, noted that this is not a replacement for sports but that the two can coexist. The government of Russia has shown excitement for working with the esports industry for adequate regulations to ensure development. By the end of 2017, it has earned official grades for sporting (I, II & III). It is one of the first of its kind in the world to give recognition to esports.
The Future Of Russian eSports
As one of the more popular esports organizations in Russia, the GM called Roman Dvoryankin of Virtus Pro quickly concurred that governments should indeed recognize esports all over the world for policy purposes and learn a thing or two from sports. To support his point, he narrated the story of the Roman Kushnarev “RAMZES666”, a player of Dota 2 Virtus Pro. Just as a Brazilian kid playing football can be noticed by a scout and give him a football career, a 19-year old boy from Novokuznetsk can also become an international esports player by spending a few hours daily at the neighbourhood cybercafé.
It will be a boon for people planning to play in the esports Olympics one day if countries around the world start giving official recognition. The International Committee on Olympics has even stated their consideration to add esports to its events for those titles which don’t feature violence. Russia also hopes to do the same for more fantastical games like Dota 2 and League of Legends.