German Olympic Federation president: Esports 'does not exist'
Li Xiang

Alfons Hormann, president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) said he's opposed to the inclusion of esports in the Olympics and went as far as saying esports "does not exist."

"Esports does not exist. And it will not be included in the Olympic program," said Hormann at the New Year reception. The DOSB boss quoted Peter Beuth, the Interior and Sports Minister of the State of Hesse to support him. Beuth was against including esports in the Olympics too, and said that he wanted to “exterminate” the term because it has “nothing to do with sports.”

A general view shows the result of Asian Games Esports Demonstration Event Pro Evolution Soccer Final match at Mahaka Square on day fourteen of the Asian Games on September 1, 2018. /VCG Photo

A general view shows the result of Asian Games Esports Demonstration Event Pro Evolution Soccer Final match at Mahaka Square on day fourteen of the Asian Games on September 1, 2018. /VCG Photo

Since esports was introduced into the 2018 Asian Games, there have been calls for it to be included in the Olympics. However, the International Olympic Committee, or its president Thomas Bach, was not a fan of the idea. He cited violence in video games and the changes on games thanks to rapid development of technology as his concerns.

However, esports has been popular in Germany. For example, Ralf-Rainer Klatt, the Vice Principal of Landessportbund Hessen, the umbrella organization of organized sports in Hesse disagreed with Beuth. Klatt believed that when youngsters competing in teams, it is different than when individuals are competing on a console or with a computer alone.

The PUBG Global Invitational 2018, the first official esports tournament for the computer game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds in Berlin on July 26, 2018. /VCG Photo

The PUBG Global Invitational 2018, the first official esports tournament for the computer game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds in Berlin on July 26, 2018. /VCG Photo

"You have to consider esports as (a) part of the digitization process of our society, which [has] just arrived in sports," said Klatt.

In November, 2017, the ESBD-eSport-Bund Deutschland (ESDB), the German Esports Federation was founded. It's made up of 21 professional and non-professional esports organizations, including ESL, an organization that produces video game competitions worldwide. German soccer club Schalke 04 of Bundesliga also invested to build their own esports team in European League of Legends Challenger Series.