France to recognise eSports and eSport players

The French government has proposed a new bill to recognize eSports and eSports players.

This came after much criticism were aimed towards excessive regulation on the eSports industry, as well as the France’s Ministry of Sport’s perpetual refusal to acknowledge the competitive circuits as a “sport”.

A Digital Republic bill will hence be drafted before being delivered to the French Senate for deliberation. Among the key objectives of the bill are to safeguard the organization of competitions, promote clarity upon the statuses of eSport players and help the industry develop in France.

If the motion is passed, the bill will disassociate eSports with gambling and also safeguard organizations running a tournament within the country. ESport players will subsequently be recognised as athletes, allowing them to contribute to pension plans and a number of benefits.

A partnership-based approach will also be formed amongst organizers, gamers, and the public authorities to help lay the foundation for the eSports industry in France.

Previously, France had problems numerous issues because eSports was regulated under the same legal framework for gambling. Given that gambling is illegal there, the country was generally unappealing for tournament organizers.

It was also only last December that the French Ministry of Sport applauded the growth of the esports industry, but refused to consider professional gaming as sport.

According to Rémy “Llewellys” Chanson, the director of eSports at media company Webedia, this was partially due to a lack of physical activity and also because the ministry remains skeptical on encouraging children to play video games.

With those issues solved, France can compete as a hub for eSport tournaments like Germany.


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