Russia’s Minister of Sport, Pavel Kolobkov, has spoken favorably about esports being recognised as a fully fledged sport at an International Economic Forum.
Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Russian Minister of Sport addressed his organization’s approach to the ever-growing esports scene.
The Russian Ministry of Sport currently views esports as a single sport category, but one with various different disciplines in it, similar to what might be seen in Track and Field.
While Kolobkov addressed the forum, he made it clear that he does not believe that esports will ever replace traditional sports as esport is a “unique sphere which does not cross traditional sports”.
However, he reiterated that he believes esports have “all elements of a sport” and even went so far as to say that other international sport organizations have been wrong in their refusal to recognize them as such.
He also made it clear that it doesn’t actually matter whether or not he agrees with the decision to recognise esports in this way because it has already been “recognized by the society”.
“We had a long discussion, and I believe that we made the right choice, because it does not matter whether the government or somebody else recognizes esports as a sport,"
"It was recognized by the society. By people who are making it. Our task is to regulate it and put in some legal boundaries, allow it to develop under our control, along with the government, along with us. That is why I am sure that at this moment one can say that esports is quite an established sphere.”
With countries around the world beginning to recognize esports as sports, the discussion about them potentially being included in the likes of the Olympics has once again reared its head.
However, the world of esports is growing by the day and will continue to do so with or without the acceptance of the likes of the International Olympic Committee.