Germany Moves to Recognize Esports as an Official Sport

The coalition between the leading political parties of Germany is moving to recognize esports as an official sport. Should the group vote in favor of the move it could pave the way for additional countries and even the Olympics to follow suit.

Late last year the coalition recognized the founding of Germany's first national esports association. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany, the Christain Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (CDP) approved the establishment of the Esport-Bund Deutschland.

In Germany, the recognition of a sports club by the political coalition is a significant development. Sports clubs can obtain not-for-profit status – a privilege that could soon be granted to esports clubs. This will reduce their commercial and corporate taxes, and allow the clubs to receive tax-deductible donations.

Beyond benefits for esports organizations, the move will make it easier for the international esports community to attend tournaments in Germany, and for German players to compete elsewhere. This is because Germany issues a different kind of visa for sports competitions.

Several countries, including South Korea, China, Russia, Italy, and South Africa have officially recognized esports as a sport. However, it may take more than Germany to convince the International Olympic Committee. According to IOC president, Thomas Bach, the organization still has misgivings.

Bach pointed to violent games as the IOC's biggest concern, saying they have to draw a line between what can be accepted by the Olympics and games with “violence, explosions, and killing.”

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