電競正名運動之臺灣現況 From Gaming to Competitive Sport – An Overview of Taiwan’s eSports Developments

臺灣一直是電子競技(簡稱電競)發展的強勢地區。今年9月30日在美國舊金山舉辦的「2016英雄聯盟世界大賽」16強賽,臺灣即佔了其中2支隊伍,與來自中、韓、歐、美的頂尖隊伍一較高下。這樣的優秀表現,自然也吸引了政府的關注。臺灣新任領導人蔡英文特別在這次行前會,親自為電競選手加油打氣;臺北市長柯文哲更是公開力挺甚至為電競代言。可見台灣確實有相當豐富的電競人才與產業經驗。

 

然而,政府支持電競不能只是口號,更要有實際的作為。拿臺灣電競選手最關心的「正名」運動(把電競納入運動項目)來說,臺灣政府在這方面仍然是牛步前進的狀態。

 

今年3月3日,臺灣教育部體育署發布了〈電子競技納為體育運動合適性評估報告〉。報告的評估結果認為,電競不適合納入體育運動項目,引發民眾一片撻伐。細讀報告內容,可以發現臺灣體育署對於電競國際現況的了解,僅僅只有「目前IOC(國際奧林匹克委員會)所承認之國際運動總會並未包含電子競技運動總會」,因此認定「電競目前不宜納入運動競賽項目之一」。然而這些理解並非全貌。事實上,一直有國際組織持續積極推動電競成為奧運項目,也就是國際電子競技協會(International e-Sports Federation,IeSF)。

 

IeSF在全球有43個會員地區,臺灣也包含在內。為了順利將電競納入奧運項目,IeSF最近一直爭取加入國際單項運動總會聯合會(SportAccord)的會員資格。(註:IOC與SportAccord是密切合作的組織,成為SportAccord會員的運動項目,將很有可能納入奧運項目。)

 

IOC已經在今年4月8日受理了IeSF的申請,並預定在年底接受第一次評估。為了完成IOC的審查項目,IeSF在今年下半年規劃成立「運動員委員會」,預計在明年開始運作。順著這股國際趨勢,俄國今年6月7日正式承認電競是運動項目(俄國電競協會2001年起開始推動至今),義大利的電競協會被國家奧運委員會的相關組織納入會員,丹麥運動協會也承認電競協會的會員資格。歐洲更有多家足球俱樂部,將大筆資金投入在電競產業中。

 

其實,相較於歐洲而言,亞洲對於電競的態度,一向是更為積極。然而,身處亞洲的臺灣政府,仍然是以非常保守的角度看待電競成為運動項目的可能性。從前述體育署的報告可以看出,臺灣政府對於上述的電競申奧發展歷程認知不足,導致想法十分侷限。如何讓臺灣政府的思維、選手的生態系統跟上國際潮流,使臺灣市場未來不錯失既有的電競發展優勢,是政府與民間都需要深入了解的議題。

 

為此,華通國際法律事務所未來將不定期更新最精華的電競訊息,讓讀者以最有效率的方式吸收重要電競資訊,協助推動臺灣電競的發展。 華通長期耕耘電競領域,與臺灣電競界的重點企業與人物保有密切與友好的合作關係,充分掌握臺灣電競發展最新趨勢,因此華通合夥律師於2015年受電競產業界邀請,於電競產業協會擔任要職。基於對電競產業面的深入了解,以及協助新興產業的豐富經驗,華通服務的電競領域客戶已涵蓋臺灣當地最知名具代表性的電競企業,為企業營運提供最符合需要的法律保障。若您希望深入了解電競相關議題,或有相關服務需求,歡迎與華通聯繫。

 

Taiwan has always been considered as one of the preeminent regions for the development of eSports (electronic sports), also known as competitive or professional gaming.  At the latest 2016 League of Legends World Championship held in San Francisco on September 30, 2016, two Taiwanese teams were successfully ranked in the Top 20 along with experienced players from China, Korea, Europe and the United States.  The excellent performance by the Taiwanese teams attracted much attention from the local government and received personal support from Taiwan’s leader, Ms. Ing-Wen Tsai; as well as the open endorsement from Taipei’s mayor, Mr. Wen-zhe Ke.  There is no doubt that Taiwan possesses an abundance of domestic gaming talents and considerable wealth of industry experience, but the government’s support for gaming must move beyond mere talk and towards practical implementation.  In particular, the Taiwanese authorities have been slow to respond to the petitions for eSports’ formal recognition as a legitimate sport.
 
On March 3, 2016, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education Sports Administration released an official report on the ‘Appropriateness and Assessment of Electronic Sports as a Sport’, which concluded that the inclusion of gaming as a competitive sport was inappropriate.  Not only was the public deeply discontent with the finding, upon a closer look at the report, it was apparent that the Sports Administration lacked a proper understanding of eSports trends worldwide.  It had based its decision solely on the finding that there have not been any associations of eSports admitted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  Unfortunately, Taiwan’s Sports Administration had clearly failed to consider the situation holistically, as international organizations like International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) had been actively and continuously advocating for the inclusion of competitive gaming as an Olympic sport.
 
Currently, the IeSF has 43 member regions around the world, including Taiwan.  The IeSF has sought for membership under the SportAccord in order to successfully participate in the Olympic Games.  (Note: A valid membership under the SportAccord greatly increases the likelihood of eSports’ inclusion in the Olympics, as the IOC is in close cooperation with the SportAccord.)
 
On April 8, 2016, the IOC accepted IeSF’s application with the first review scheduled at the end of this year.  In order to satisfy the IOC review items, the IeSF decided to launch an ‘Athlete’s Commission’ with operations beginning next year.  Against the unprecedented global growth of eSports, Russia officially announced the recognition of eSports as an official sport on June 7, 2016 (Russian e-Sports Federation had been pushing for formal recognition since 2001).  The Italian eSports Association was successfully recognized by an affiliated organization under the authority of the Italian National Olympic Committee.  The National Federation of Denmark (eSports Denmark) also became an associate member of the Denmark Athletic Federation.  Furthermore, a number of European football clubs have invested heavily in the gaming industry.
 
In fact, Asia has always been much more open-minded and positive towards gaming in comparison to Europe.  However, the government in Taiwan is overwhelmingly conservative when it comes to evaluating and perceiving the viability of eSports as a sport.  The Taiwan Sports Administration report mentioned above clearly exposed the inadequate understanding and limited knowledge of the gaming industry developments, as well as the global petition for eSports’ inclusion in the Olympics.  It has now become imperative for the Taiwanese government, the domestic players, as well as the general public to keep up with international trends, so as to ensure that Taiwan will retain its existing advantages in the gaming market.  
 
Liu & Partners is deeply involved with key enterprises and figures within Taiwan’s gaming industry and keeps watch on the latest eSports developments and market news.  Our partner, Ms. Victoria Liu, was invited by the Taiwan eSports industry to act as a vital role in the relevant e-Sports association.  Based on specialized knowledge of the gaming industry and experiences in assisting emerging industries, our firm delivers the most comprehensive and necessary legal assistance to our clients, which include the most well-known and representative gaming companies in Taiwan.  Please contact us if you would like to find out more about eSports, or any related inquiries for our services.


Liu & Partners Attorneys-at-Law 華通國際法律事務所
Victoria Liu (Partner) 劉懿嫻 合夥律師
Room C, 6F, No. 261, Sec. 3, Nanjing E. Rd., Songshan Dist., Taipei 10550, Taiwan
Tel: +886 (2) 2717 7878
www.liupartners.com

 

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