E-sports to be recognised as professional sport by IOA

The government of India has finally decided that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will recognise Esports as a proper sport.

Sayanta Sengupta Author

Updated - 25 February 2021 5:58 pm

It has been quite some time since the debate surrounding whether Esports should be considered as a professional sport, has been doing the rounds. Now something concrete has happened and is a massive development. The government of India has finally decided that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will recognise Esports as a proper sport.

The root cause of this decision can be attributed to the Twitter storm that took place sometime back. A hashtag “#recognizeesportsindia” started flashing and it immediately came in the government’s radar. They had to take action post this and thus took this call. Even the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) will now be recognised as the leading governing body of Esports in India.

The sports ministry headed by Kiren Rijju realised that gaming was vastly different from gambling. Skill versus chance is the principal difference between the two. This was largely discussed and debated by the sports ministry.

Earlier, the director of Esports Federation of India (ESFI), Lokesh Suji had said that the government’s intervention could change the ball game for esports in India. “Recognition by our Sports Ministry is the need of the hour to clear this confusion prevailing at large in India. Lot of talent dies early due to lack of parental support; recognition will help in overcoming this major bottleneck,” said Suji.

Clear signs of development of Esports in the Indian fraternity

In the next Asian games too, Esports will be contested. Even though the game titles have not been released, it is a major development. It is also imperative to note that the first major e-sporting event at the highest level was held in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. It was orchestrated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the British government.