Russia Says eSports are Officially Sports
Following years of successful teams coming out of Russia, the country recently announce that they now recognize eSports as sports, and players as athletes.
In an official statement released by The Russian Ministry of Sport, the governing body has also said that they will be holding competitions to bestow titles such as “Russian Master of Sports” although the specific games which will be included have not yet been released.
Originally, Russia was the first country in the world to recognize eSports as a sport back in 2001, but then later revoked the distinction. Now, with the massive explosion in growth both in eSports popularity, and consequently eSports advertising, the country has reinstated the status of “sport” to eSports and is looking forward to the future.
Russia is no stranger to the world of eSports, emerging as a superpower in the market with the success of League of Legends team, Moscow 5 back in 2011. Today, Russia continues to see success. Teams like Virtus.pro keep eSports a major industry in the country which has seen investment of roughly $100 million.
Although many Russian players in the past have experienced trouble competing on the global scale, mostly due to visa issues, this new recognition by the country gives hope to eSports fans both in and outside of Russia.