Last weekend in Cologne, the German Esports Federation ESBD elected a new board and renewed its structure and statutes. The ESSB General Assembly was officially opened by the international esports company ESL, which hosted the meeting, and was followed by a political statement from Nathanael Liminski, Head of the State Chancellery of North-Rhine Westfalia.

Daniel Finkler, Christopher Flato, Hans Jagnow,
Dr. Fabian Laugwitz, Martin Müller (Foto: ESBD / Alina Ehmann)

Hans Jagnow, 31, was confirmed as President of the ESBD with 95% of the votes. Dr. Fabian Laugwitz was elected as 1st Vice-President. Martin Müller, Daniel Finkler and Christopher Flato were also elected as Vice-Presidents to serve as members of the ESBD board. Niklas Timmermann and Jan Pommer did not stand for re-election.

Jagnow summarizes the meeting results: “We are faced with the challenge of adapting the strong dynamics of the esports movement into the work of the federation. The agreed structural refresh is an important step into the future of the ESBD. The new ESBD statutes allow the combination of a digital platform concept with traditional federation structures. This will help us creating more participation for esports players and athletes. We hope to establish a new concept of sports democratic structures in respect to a society that becomes more digital every day.“

Player representation, a national court of esports arbitration and regional federations in the states of Germany – these are the key points of the structural reform the ESBD decided on Sunday. 

As of 2020, individual players will also be able to organize themselves within the ESBD. The intended player representation takes into account the fact that many esports communities are active on digital platforms. Jagnow explains: “We are tasked to build a platform for all esports players, democratic and digital”. Members of the players’ representation are not individually entitled to vote, but will instead be represented by an own committee and in the ESBD board.

In the future, an ESBD court of esports arbitration will be responsible for handling disputes within the ESBD internally and will encourage the committees and members to adhere to federations rulesets. Alongside the statutes, the ESBD’s Code of Ethics and Conduct will serve as a framework. In doing so, the federation sets an important signal for the integrity of esports and strengthens the self-organization. The general assembly appointed Prof. Dr. Anne Jakob, Dr. Holger Jakob and Jan Pommer, experienced lawyers from sports and esports, to serve as judges in the court of esports arbitration.

Also, two important motions passed on Saturday. The ESBD approved the participation in the foundation of a European esports organization, which has been negotiated between the national esports federations since January 2019 and is expected to start its work in 2020. In addition, ESBD membership expects the federation to play a sufficient role in the discussions on so-called pay-to-win mechanics and simulated gambling – those video game contents and mechanics should be assessed more urgently in the context of sports integrity, the motion demands.