Taiwan moves to classify eSports under sporting authority

The Taiwanese government met with development and eSports board members yesterday in talks to become the sixth country to recognise competitive gaming as sport.

Taipei’s Department of Economic Development and the Taiwan eSports League submitted an appeal to the country’s Ministry for Education last week to discuss classifying the activity as an ‘indoor sport’.

The proposal, put forward by Economic Development Commissioner Lin Chung-chieh and TeSL chairman Huangbo Hong, would allow eSports ventures to secure government funding under the sports administration.

Last month, Lin invited 20 players, developers and talent agents to Taipei to discuss how the city government could aid eSports growth.

Sports recognition, the likes of which South Korea, China, and the US already employ, also allows for expedited athlete visas for overseas competition and other bureaucratic benefits.

Taiwan is a massive force on the international eSports stage, despite its relatively small population of just 23m, with League of Legends teams ahq and Flash Wolves making it to the quarterfinals of this year’s World Championships.

Taipei’s mayor, Ko Wen-je, is also a big supporter of eSports, as an avid LoL player himself – posting a video of his own gameplay to spur on his countrymen in their Worlds matches.

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