eSports generate controversy in the Latin American political scene

EFE; Translation by Arturo Hilario
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Paco Rojas

The growth of eSports in Latin America is undoubtedly one of the trends that has evolved into a sport, with the creation of new teams, sponsors and competitions, and now, the need of some countries to regulate laws for it as a sport.

It all starts with the simple question, are eSports a sport? Recently this was the question that opened the debate at a public hearing in Brazil with a Senate bill 383 of 2017 that seeks to regulate electronic sports.

In some states of the Latin American region, laws already indicate that eSports are a sport like any other, because it has the minimum essential factors that any traditional sport has: athletes, cash prizes, a public and competitions.

In 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement that eSports, “could be considered a sporting activity.”

To this we add the birth of innumerable confederations and federations to “help” or “encourage” the electronic games market. The problem is that this also brought with it many doubts about the “good will” of these confederations.

In the last public hearing of Brazil, on November 21, led by Senator Leila Barros, despite being accompanied by experts in electronic sports in the session, it generated outrage among the gamer community, because the debates are being driven by people with little participation in eSports.

To this is added that “Draft5”, a specialist in the eSports market, in one of its publications highlights certain irregularities in the bill that places federations as “unique representatives” of the eSports scenario and that the senator Roberto Rocha of the PSDB-MA party has his son Roberto Rocha Jr. as vice president of a federation, generating a conflict of interest between a federation and the eSports market.

This is just the tip of an iceberg that is being replicated in other Latin American countries, creating an impressive growth of eSports, the amount of public viewership and therefore sponsors who begin to lay their eyes on them.

As has happened with most of the sports that were professionalized, these situations are an indication of the interest that this world arouses and everything that happens from now on will serve to build more solid foundations of a sport that does not seem to slow its growth in Latin America.