Following the Berlin’s Pirate Party filing a motion to acknowledge esports as a sport in May, the FDP has begun to follow the steps to make Esports a legitimate sport in Germany.
The main conflict in Germany has been the tax forms and visa issues that players have been requesting, and have been denied for. Back in January, the Berlin Pirate Party requested from Frank Henkel, Senator of the Interior in the Berlin Senate, that he consider Esports as a legitimate sport, and recognized nationwide to allow legislation to be in place to help assist the growth of the sport, and allow players to freely request visas as other professional athletes can do.
Hamburg’s Free Democratic Party has been promoting its claim that Esports is a real sport, through the slogan “Sports has many facets – Esports is one of it!.” A representative from the party argued that the reaction speed, game knowledge, hand-eye coordination, lateral thinking, spatial orientation, and tactical execution are all key elements of what makes a sport a sport, and all are conducive to the talents of a traditional athlete.
In Germany, a sport receives tax benefits. This would benefit the Esports industry as we know it, as it has for other sports in the region. According to German policy, a sport is considered by the German Olympic Sports Confederation. The GOSC has denied the admission of Esports multiple times. Due to this, there has been more political pressure than ever before to accept Esports as a legitimate sport.
Gaming companies from around the world have lobbied for Esports to become a legitimate sport. Major companies in the region, such as Esports BIU, have lobbied to influence a change in legislation. Germany has aknocledged chess, motor sports, darts as a legitimate sport, but has failed to acknowledge Esports as of yet.