Boban Totovski, IESF’s (International Esports Federation) general secretary says Esports is well en route to becoming a part of the Olympics programme.
“In 2020, we received the opinion from their membership group that we fulfil all conditions to be full members of the Global Association of International Sports Federations. GAISF and IOC (International Olympic Committee) work closely together.
There is no reason why an Esports athlete shouldn’t receive the same respect a footballer or another sportsperson receives.
— Totovski, IESF general secretary
GAISF’s Membership Assembly was supposed to happen in Russia but it has been postponed. So, now we wait. But this is a lengthy procedure... there is a lot of documentation, structure and projects,” Totovski said during the Sportstar North Sports Conclave in Lucknow, on Thursday.
Esports Federation of India director Lokesh Suji shared his views on why he feels aggrieved when it is said Esports athletes are not regular sportspersons.
He said, “What people see is someone sitting behind a computer screen, or phone or PlayStation. But you have to react very fast and for one to have the ability to do that, he or she must be very physically healthy... We even require sports psychologists. Before our athletes left for the Commonwealth Championships, we had a session with Mandeha.”
Totovski added, “There is no reason why an Esports athlete shouldn’t receive the same respect a footballer or another sportsperson receives.”
Tirth Mehta, an Asian Games esports medallist, although said, the physical aspect becomes important only in certain games.
“Hearthstone is a combination of chess and poker. Like poker, it has the component of randomness, while it also has the strategic moves of chess. For Hearthstone, it doesn’t require much of physical skills. In DOTA, you need to have good hand-eye coordination and other physical attributes. Sportspersons like Hima Das, they have also acknowledged the same.”
The Hindu Sportstar North Conclave presents a series of carefully curated conversations with top sportspersons and sport industry experts on revolutionising the sports ecosystem in Uttar Pradesh. The dialogues will offer a rare insight into the lives of the sports stars and help find ways to ignite the nation’s Olympic dream.
The Conclave was held in association with Hero We Care, a Hero Motocorp CSR Initiative, K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management, Indian Oil, Shiv Naresh, Life Insurance Corporation of India, NewsX and KSG.
Readers can follow the event live on the Sportstar website sportstar.thehindu.com.