Ukraine has now officially recognized esports as a sports competition following a meeting held by the Commission for Recognition of Sports. This comes along with a five-year esports plan developed and pitched by the Ukrainian Professional Esports Association. Esports has gained significant popularity in Ukraine, and many have lobbied for its official recognition for quite some time. The Ukrainian Esports Federation applied for recognition back in August, and the application ultimately became the catalyst for esports becoming an official sports competition in Ukraine. A combination of esports advocates and its growing prominence in the country also played a major part in government officials taking notice and making the decision.
Deputy Minister for Digital Transformation, Oleksandr Borniakov released a statement on Facebook, saying “This is a historic moment for our country. After all, esports has long ceased to be just about ‘shooters,’ but a fundamental element of modern digital culture. About 600 million people admire it, including millions of Ukrainians. Besides, Ukraine has a high culture of esports, as well as strong players…” Borniakov also notes esports has transformed into a “real business” and Ukrainian teams are winning tournaments all around the globe. Those who have invested in the esports scene in Ukraine have rejoiced at the news of its recognition and look towards capitalizing. Back in July, Oleksandr Kokhanovsky, founder of esports organization Natus Vincere, purchased the Dnipro Hotel, in partnership with Ukrainian IT professionals. Their goal is to take the hotel, located in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, and design it specifically to host esports events.
This would make the hotel a first of its kind, packed with training areas, an esports arena, special rooms for professional players. The official recognition of esports in their country is sure to add credibility to the project and attract fans and players alike. To view the Ukrainian announcement of esports official recognition, click here.