- 12 countries join a newly-formed European Esports Federation
- The ratifying document yet to be signed
- Some questions about the usefulness of such federations raised
The esports wheels are moving. Europe is pushing towards the creation of its own Esports Federation with 12 participating countries having reportedly approved of a draft document that is pending sign-up.
European Esports Federation Announced with the Berlin Declaration
Europe has seen a lot in the way of esports funding are concerned. Now, a new federation has risen. A total of 12 participating counties have joined in to create the European Esports Federation, a body dedicated to promoting esports competition within the European Union and in countries based in the region.
The newly-set entity will serve more as a “moderating partner” rather than stand tall as a governing body of the entire industry. A document called “The Berlin Declaration” is yet to be signed and ratified by all participating members, the Esports Observer reported.
So far, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Slovenia, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom have closed ranks to spearhead the new body.
Several important esports organizations, including ESL, StarLadder, Freaks 4U Gaming, and the German Games Industry Association along with The Interactive Software Federation of Europe attended as well.
Esports Insider cited the words of German Esports Federation (ESBD) president Hans Jagnow who spoke on the occasion.
“In times like these, we feel that the idea of Europe is a fragile one. A commitment from esports is a strong sign: Europe is the future for many young people. Like no other sports movement esports profits from the freedoms the European Union provides. The Berlin Declaration puts an emphasis on that identity. Following up on the development of grassroots esports on the national level, coming together as a European federation is the next big step. As ESBD, we want Europe to become the model region for structuring esports on an international level.”
The Issue with Federations
- No real influence
- Blanket bodies rather than game-based bodies
- No real connection with publishers and tournament hosts
The creation of the European Esports Federation seems to be a step in the right direction, but it still remains a lot of work to be done. One of the main issues is that federations in Europe continue to function as stand-alone bodies that aren’t in touch with publishers or tournament organizers, which gives them purely pro-forma responsibilities.
To address this, federations will need to seek tighter and meaningful collaborations with the engines of competitive video gaming. Secondly, federations – or indeed a blanket body for esports in Europe – would have to seek some form of validation from government.
Equating esports to sports is not done for the sake of proving a point. It’s rather an appeal to allow professional video gamers, who have trained for years, to be given an opportunity to overcome bureaucratic snags such as visa issues quicker.
Another important issue to highlight is the fact that France, one of the member countries, has two distinct esports federations, the FFJV and France Esports, both of which have their own very distinct ideas as to how esports should be represented.
Yet another problem worth highlighting is the fact that the term “esports” is an oversimplification. Most of the competitive esports, such as Dota 2, League of Legends, and CS:GO among others have matured to have their own federations with specific problems that are inherent to these games.