German coalition parties to recognize esports as sports, support Olympic effort

2/5/2018 6:58:27 PM EST

Angela Merkel's CDU and Martin Schulz's SPD are expected to conclude negotiations on a government coalition in Germany on Monday, and once approved by the SPD's the parties will reportedly support local clubs and esports' effort to become an Olympic sport.

"We want to give esports a higher publicity," CSU politician Dorothee Bar said, per The Esports Observer. "Competitive gaming is supposed to be recognized in union and associations law, and esports to receive an Olympic perspective."

There has previously be regional support to recognize esports as sports in Germany, but this would be the first agreement on the federal level. If approved, it would also pave the way for esports to apply for not-for-profit status, which would provide benefits including reduced corporate and commercial takes and receiving tax-advantage donations, according to the Observer report.

Esport Bund Deutschland (ESBD), which was founded last November, has made recognizing esports as sports one of its primary objectives. President Hans Jagnow told the Observer that it is a crucial move in order to further the development of the esports scene in Germany, which is already considered one of the strongest in Europe.

Big soccer clubs in Germany have traditionally been run partially as not-for-profit associations. A similar ability for esports organizations and event coordinators could make it easier for players to obtain visas in order to participate in German competitions.

--Field Level Media