The movement to recognize e-Sports as an official sports is gaining greater momentum worldwide. SEUL (SUOMEN ELEKTRONISEN URHEILUN LIITTO, Finnish e-Sports Federation), a member of Ie
SF representing the National Federation of Finland, has successfully been able to be accepted as an associate member of th
e Finnish Olympic Committee on November 26th, 2016.
SEUL has been working to promote e-Sports as a true sports since many years, receiving its first sports recognition from VALO (Finnish Sports Confederation). It has continued its steps to create and establish e-Sports social structures and to position e-Sports as a true sport, resulting in the acceptance of the Finnish Olympic Committee.
SEUL vice-president, Joonas Kapiainen, commented that “Association membership in the Finnish Olympic Committee signals strong confidence in the Finnish e-Sports Federation and e-Sports in Finland.” He also added “It’s an important acknowledgment which brings us closer to whole sports community and creates new possibilities for co-operation between e-Sports and traditional sports. As an associate member of the Finnish Olympic Committee, we have an increasingly important responsibility to represent e-Sports as a hobby and top-level sports in Finland.”
The movement to have e-Sports recognized by traditional sporting bodies is a long standing IeSF policy with China, Korea, and South Africa having initially forged the way forward. However, the acceptance of SEUL as an associate member of the Finnish Olympic Committee in 2016, stands testament to the greater momentum of such acceptance within the sporting community as a whole. Just in 2016 Russian e-Sports Federation (ReSF), Italian eSports Association (ITeSPA), e-Sports Danmark (Denmark e-Sports Federation), Nepal e-Sports Association (NESA), also made significant contributions to such momentum.
Alex Lim, Secretary General of IeSF commented “Congratulations to the Finnish e-Sports Federation who has successfully accomplished the recognition of e-Sports as an official sports. Receiving recognition from the government as a true sports does not only mean the authority is given. It also implies that the responsibilities to develop infrastructures, host national competitions, and responsibilities to select and manage national athletes within the country. 2016 has been a challenging year for IeSF, and these news show how much closer we are from being recognized by the international sports society. IeSF would like to appreciate and thank all the efforts of its members for the dedication and effort to expand and enhance the e-Sports industry.”