Will Taiwan be the Sixth Country to Recognize E-sports as an Official Sports? Sport Administration Shows Hesitation

Will Taiwan be the Sixth Country to Recognize E-sports as an Official Sports? Sport Administration Shows Hesitation
Photo Credit: ahq e-Sports Club
What you need to know

The SA issued a press release clarifying that e-sports need to be recognized by the International Olympic Committee and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee to become an official sport in Taiwan. The decision has aroused controversy. Lin Chung-chieh, commissioner of Taipei City Government's Department of Economic Development, says that from now on they will record meetings with the SA for evidence.

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In order to promote the e-sports industry, Lin Chung-chieh, commissioner of Taipei City Government’s Department of Economic Development, went to the Sports Administration (SA) on October 26, hoping the central government will list e-sports as an official sport.

After the meeting, Lin said on his Facebook page that the request was approved. But the SA later issued a press release clarifying that e-sports need to be recognized by the International Olympic Committee and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee to become an official sport in Taiwan. The decision has aroused controversy. Lin says that from now on they will record meetings with the SA for evidence.

CNA reports, League of Legends (LOL) gamers have praised the Taipei City Government as the public sector that supports e-sports the most. Lin says he hopes to understand what the Taipei City Government can do to help the development of e-sports.

UDN reports, Lin says the Taipei City Government has three major missions in promoting e-sports. They hope that the Department of Information Technology can combine e-sports with hackathons, as well as developing e-sports classes in schools. They also hope to hold forums with computer associations, e-sports players and developers and agents to promote the development of the industry.

The ultimate goal is to create an original Taiwanese-designed game to bring Taiwan’s e-sports games to an international level.

E-sports in Taiwan have long been stigmatized. Hinders include the lack of investments and disapproval of parents. Lin believes that the e-sports industry has experienced a rapid growth in recent years. However, if it’s not rectified, the public sector will still have a hard time assisting its development.

CNA reports, shortly after SA’s decision to list e-sports as an official sport, SA’s general director Ho Jow-fei said that the earlier agreement was only a general idea. He said for e-sports to become an official sport, it has to be recognized by the International Olympic Committee as well as the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee under strict examination. Ho also said that further discussion is required to reach a consensus for e-sports to become an official sport in Taiwan.

China Times reports, Lin has responded to SA’s decision on his Facebook page saying that he only hopes the government can take e-sports to be an official sport. He is not asking them to include e-sports in Olympic or Asian Games. Lin expresses regret for SA’s flip-flopping decisions, saying that they will record the meetings with the SA for evidence in the future.

Currently, countries that have official regulations that recognize e-sports as an official sport include China, South Korea, Italy, Malaysia and the US. If Taiwan lists e-sports as an official sport, it will be the sixth country to do so in the world. The US also allows e-sports players to apply for visas as athletes.

Translated by Vic Chiang
Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources: