Premier pledges to back e-sports industry

  • Date: 2017-09-17
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan
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Premier Lai Ching-te today attended the awards ceremony for the 2017 Six-city E-sports Championship to present both trophies and prize money to the winning teams. New Taipei City team “ahq Fighter” and the team “Kaohsiung Nanbatian,” representing Kaohsiung, claimed the championship and runner-up positions, respectively. The premier emphasized that the government will back competitive gaming as an avenue for young people to achieve their dreams and fully realize the potential associated benefits.

The premier said that a relevant amendment to the Sports Industry Development Regulation has already passed preliminary review by the Legislative Yuan. The amendment classifies e-sports as an athletic industry, which would transform competitive gaming from a recreational pursuit into an official national sport.

The premier pointed to competitive gaming as a rising global industry that is estimated to pull in 190 million players throughout the world by the end of 2017, and generate revenues of US$1 billion by the end of 2019. Even now, e-sports attract roughly 100 million gamers every month, of which six to seven million live in Taiwan.

Taiwan not only has a large footprint in the world of competitive gaming, but e-sports have also won widespread respect within society at large. Furthermore, Taiwan’s competitive gaming teams have pushed the nation to the top of the global e-sports world, with both the Taipei Assassins (now known as the J Team) and the Flash Wolves bringing home world championships in 2012 and 2017, respectively.

Premier Lai said the central government’s e-sports policy focuses on cultivating new talent, allowing gamers to smoothly transition from alternative military service into the professional world. Local authorities are also seeking cooperation with the competitive gaming industry. The premier expressed hope that in addition to the concrete actions already taken to support the e-sports industry, the government and industry will work together to allow the competitive gaming industry to take full advantage of all related benefits.