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Pakistan declares Esports an official sport

Pakistan declares Esports as an official sport.
Pakistan declares Esports as an official sport.
Modified 13 Jan 2021, 20:33 IST

Esports is growing at an exponential rate with a market that is projected to surpass $1.5 billion by 2023. Many countries are taking Esports seriously as the competion is being featured in various multi-sports events like the Asian Games. International Olympic Committee has also discussed the inclusion of Esports in future Olympic events.

China became the first country in 2003 to recognize Esports as a real sport. Since then, many countries like South Korea, Denmark, Germany, and Indonesia followed the trend. Now, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry via on Twitter that Esports would be recognized as an official sport.

"A memorandum has been signed between Pakistan Sports Body and Pakistan Science Foundation after which Esports will get regular sports status. If you are interested in video games, get ready as new opportunities are waiting for you."

A month ago, Chaudhry told TV host Waqar Zaka that a national level Esports tournament would take place in March through private sponsorship. He also confirmed that Pakistan's gaming industry is growing at 20 percent annually.

In Pakistan, Esports and gaming was an alien concept a few years ago till Arslan Ash - a Tekken player - won the EVO Championship Series Japan and EVO Championship series in 2010. This elevated the country's name on the international stage and inspired people.

In 2020, PUBG Mobile, a popular mobile game in the country, was banned by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). However, the ban was overturned a month later after an official request was made by several athletes.

PUBG Mobile recently concluded the Mobile Pakistan Championship which boasted of a prize worth 1 crore Pakistani Rupees (PKR) or roughly $62,000. Team F4 won the championship and took away 50 lakh PKR as prize.

Published 13 Jan 2021, 20:33 IST
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