The EU Parliament was introduced, for the first time, to the esports scene. Players, event organizers and other industry professionals had the chance to discusses, with the members of the parliament, questions over esports current regulation and sports status.
The meeting was entitled “Esports in Europe: What Policy Response?” and included different sides of the industry. With representatives from ESL, SK Gaming and the Esports Integrity Coalition(ESIC), as well as sports lawyers and gaming academics the meeting touched subjects like specific legal framework and business growth inside the industry.
Santiago Fisas Ayxelà, a Spanish MEP who is part of the Committee on International Trade, chaired was the first discussion. He jokingly highlighted that the participation in an esports discussion generated far more interest than Brexit debates.
Simone “AKirA” Trimarchi, a former Italian esports player, was the in the moderator’s seat. Started is multiplayer gaming career over twenty years ago and walking the esports for a while, he said he was quite emotional sitting at an EU Parliament table.
Jan Pommer, Team and Federations Relations Director for ESL, and a former manager for the German Basketball league, was the first guest. He mostly presented the main facets of the esports ecosystem, explaining publishers roles, event organisers and teams. He stated that “We should think of the industry as not being in the cradle anymore, but in its adolescence”.
Alexander Müller, SK Gaming’s managing director, talked about the life of a top esports player and their influence. Müller said “Whenever you think of the downsides of gaming; too much gaming, the nutrition, less sport, we have the arguments for the opposite,”.
Finally, among other participants and discussions, Matthew Barr, Lecturer at Glasgow University, shared his own research explaining the linkage between multiplayer games like Warcraft 3 and Starcraft II and the skill development. Trying to convince the members of the parliament, he said that “There was certainly competition in the room, but there was collaboration with teams, and that’s what we’re recreating with what’s happening on stage.”
A lot more about the meeting can be found on The Esports Observer.
It was the first time members of the parliament discussed esports and the scene future, but it sure won’t be the last.