eSports is currently not recognised as a sports event, says Macau Sports Bureau
The Macau Daily Times reported Friday that the recognition of eSports as a sport has been rejected by the Macau Sports Administration Bureau and is currently not on the organisation's horizon.
The Bureau responded to an enquiry by the publication, saying that it must consider the development, acceptability and suitability of different sports in society.
"Although eSports has been recognized as a sports event in some other countries, each region should have their own considerations," the response opines.
"As a government department (the Bureau) must consider both the public and society," the statement asserts. "We should carry out the positive and popular sports, as well as develop fitness to our citizens, to create a healthy physical sports environment.
"According to Macau's current situation regarding the acceptability of eSports as a sports event, our standpoint remains unchanged that eSports is not recognized as a sports event."
The Bureau's opinion would appear to be at odds with that of the mainland China government, which recognised eSports as an official sports program overseen by the General Administration of Sport of China in 2003. In 2008, two professional e-gamers carried the Olympic torch in Hainan, en route to Beijing for the Summer Olympics' opening ceremony.
The activity has also been formally acknowledged by the relevant authorities in South Korea, the U.S., and Russia, among others, The Macau Daily Times observes, noting that Russian authorities, after initially becoming the first official sporting agency to recognize eGaming in 2001, have only recently reinstated its status after revoking it in 2006.
The Bureau's decision notwithstanding, a Macau body, Grow uP eSports, has already joined the eSports Federation, an international body boasting companies and associations from 46 nations. Membership enables Macau e-gamers to compete at the eSports World Championship scheduled for Jakarta later this year.
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