Inter-ministerial “national plan” for the development of esports

Point of acceleration “. This is how Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Minister of Sports and Olympic and Paralympic Games, described the meeting in Paris this Monday morning of many players of esports, as well as several representatives of French sports (CNOSF, CIO) and politicians from different backgrounds. including three ministries. To say a morning of discussions to summarize and present a national plan for the development and structuring of the discipline under the “eSports Strategy 2020-2025”, which was launched almost three years ago but has since been completely frozen.

In recent weeks, several discussion groups have been organized with representatives of the public around a certain number of goals (structuring the ecosystem, supporting amateur experiences, removing obstacles to the development of the experience, holding major events, Olympic Esports Week). outline the road map. A bit rash at times, according to some participants, it nonetheless symbolizes the government’s willingness to act after Emmanuel Macron’s remarks at a reception for esports at the Elysée last June. The plan, presented after the final exchanges on Monday, will revolve around four main points.

Will the visa issue be resolved soon?

First, the creation of a national structure that will have a legal form in the medium-term perspective and will test this national strategy (development, control, training, etc.) by uniting all the players in the area. While the French Esports association has taken on a comparable role since its inception in 2016, it has often faced numerous obstacles: the difficulty of merging, navigating limited resources, confirming legitimacy… It has invested heavily in exchanges. it has its place in this new structure, which is supposed to be more global.

Encouraging the development of expertise in areas, particularly teaching responsible practice of the discipline at the amateur level, will be another focus. Just as the strengthening of France’s attractiveness and dynamism in the sector, including the next Major de counter attack in may Publication ” an inter-ministerial guideline enabling the use of a talent passport for high-level athletes was also announced. The concrete move, expected for years by French professional clubs, including Karmine Corp, Vitality or LDLC OL, represented on Monday, is enough to facilitate the acquisition of visas for certain foreign players.

Finally, France wants to host and participate in the success of the Olympic Esports Week organized by the International Olympic Committee, the first edition of which will be held in Singapore in June 2023. The event will bring together “virtual sports” competitions (bicycle sports, sailing sports, motor sports…) and an exhibition of games that have a wider audience than practitioners of e-sports – Rocket League Where Super Smash Bros Ultimate has been noted.

In 2024, after the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, it should therefore be held in the capital at the end of the year and mark the evolution beyond 2023, with a bigger space on offer to “popular” sports. Matthieu Peche, Vitality team manager counter attackand bronze medalist in C2 canoeing in Rio 2016, will participate in the coordination of the project.

The long-awaited sequel

Accompanying talents to professionalism, raising awareness of good practices to avoid excesses (lack of sports experience, dropping out), acceptance of esports as a profession, its review, creation of a professional player contract, facilitating the process of becoming a professional. visa… In recent years, these topics have regularly come up like a boomerang in discussions between field players and successive representatives of various state bodies. However, things are moving slowly.

But what will change this time? The file appears to have been taken seriously by the various relevant ministries – Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Minister of Sports and Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister responsible for the Digital Transition and Telecommunications, were present in Rome on Monday. Culture Minister Abdul Malak is also participating in the exchanges and their coordination adds more importance to this step forward. The momentum also seems new and therefore more stimulating to some. The budget envelope will be dedicated to this sector for the first time.

Still, despite the existence of SELL (Union of Leisure Software Publishers), participation by game publishers still seems remote. We also regret that the players are almost completely absent. But it seems that France sees the extent of the work to be done in the field to bring the changes to the European level. This meeting on Monday is definitely positive, so it is an accelerating point. To be continued.

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