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Published: September 29, 2021

Written by: David

  • The government of Thailand has officially recognized esports as professional sports
  • This will unlock many new benefits to the professional esports industry
  • Esports continues its rise as a global phenomenon

The government of Thailand has announced its official recognition of esports as professional sporting events.

Thailand Officialized Esports as Sports

Esports continues its road to becoming a staple on the competitive sporting market as Thailand’s government has officially recognized it as the 14th professional sport in the country. This means that esports will join the likes of football, golf, jet skiing, volleyball, takraw, bowling, motorcycle racing, cycling, automobile racing, snooker, badminton, tennis, and basketball.

The announcement was first published in the Royal Gazette – a journal that updates the public on all changes and regulations to the law. This notice of recognition was then shared by the Thai E-Sports Federation which is responsible for regulating esports tournaments and events in the country. With this esports has been finally cemented as an official professional sport in Thailand.

The recognition of esports is expected to tremendously benefit the esports industry in the country. As officially recognized sports, esports will have numerous new funding and sponsorship options. Now esports teams and athletes will be able to seek funding from the Sports Authority of Thailand which provides monetary aid to sports events, teams, and players through its Professional Sports Promotion Fund. Esports will also be eligible for assistance with the organization and management of events and clubs. 

Esports Continue Receiving Recognition

Esports has experienced a sharp rise in popularity in recent years. About a decade ago esports seemed like a promising hobby to many but few expected it to rise to its current level.

Nowadays, esports tournaments are spectacular multi-million events that feature hardened professionals battling over huge prize pools before large audiences, with many people watching the online stream from their homes. Several events like SEA Games and Asian Games have prepared esports to be played as a medal sport. In this regard, esports has undoubtedly become very similar to traditional sports.

The COVID-19 pandemic did damage esports in some aspects but it also provided new opportunities. While many traditional sports leagues had to be canceled completely, esports switched to an online format and adapted to the troubling times. This not only attracted people who enjoy viewing competitive events, but it also proved to be very tempting to bettors who now didn’t have traditional sports to bet on.

Esports slowly carved their way as top competitive events to the point where numerous deals between sports and esports bodies had been made. Even the Olympic Committee recognized the appeal of esports and launched its very own esports competition.

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