German politician and State Minister of the Interior and for Sports of Hesse Peter Beuth, has stated that he wants to “exterminate” the term “E-Sports”.
“E-Sports have nothing to do with sports. We need to exterminate that term“, Beuth said in a speech to the participants of the gymnastics and sports congress in Darmstadt in a calm tone. “I’m not sure yet how moving the thumb and forefinger is supposed to be a sport, even if there’s something moving on the screen.”
The ruling coalition in Germany is planning to acknowledge E-Sports in the union that’ll allow E-Sports athletes and organisations to benefit from certain association rights. This means people can establish official clubs with welfare and benefits covered by German law.
Beuth not only went against the cause but referred the plan to be “catastrophic”. One of his reasons behind his opinion was that esports tournaments aren’t played by the rule of sports associations but that of “American companies”.
“This congress is about education and health. We want to get the kids into the gym and into the field”, the German politician said. “Gaming has its value. But it does not belong in a sports organization as such because it adorns itself with a title whose values I miss there.”
Ralf-Rainer Klatt, Vice Principal of Landessportbund Hessen, the umbrella organization of organized sports in Hesse defended the motion. He said, “When young people approach the clubs and say that [they] like to do e-sports as team sports, then that is something different than when the individual [is] alone with the console [or] computer.”
“You have to consider e-sports as [a] part of the digitization process of our society, which [has] just arrived in sports”, Klatt said.
If you ask me personally, there mustn’t be an issue considering esports as actual sports. If you go by definition, a sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. And esports athletes exert themselves both physically and mentally.
It goes without saying every sport demands excessive hours of practice, dedication and concentration. Esport titles demand exactly the same if not less. This is the new world. You can’t compare professional gaming with gym and field activities. Sure, gaming is a medium of entertainment and escapism. But esports is professional gaming. And the term “professional” is a word with meaning.
Companies and associations won’t invest millions of dollars in an industry for no reason. They’ve seen it grow, they’ve seen how passionate people have become and they’ve seen the world change. Yes, traditional sports aren’t going anywhere but you should be able to complement the fact that esports is the new-world sports.
Countries like China and South Korea have realised the potential of this industry and they’re truly supportive of the players, the organisations and its followers. And I believe, more and more countries will start understanding and recognising the sector very soon.
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