China made the move to recognize two separate esports professions on January 25th. Both “esports professional” and “esports operator” are now officially recognized by the country and its Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (CMHRSS). CMHRSS is responsible for “national labor policy standards [and] regulations…” according to its website. It exists to “provide assistanc[e] to labor-intensive industries and enterprises with the aim of creating more employment opportunities.”
Esports’ Rough Road in China
This move serves as tacit approval for esports in China, a country that has traditionally been at odds with the scene. Reportedly, Popular esports titles like PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds, Fortnite, and H1Z1 were banned on Dec. 11th of last year, but it seems as though these games are still playable in the region. Additionally, China has recently created the Online Ethics Review Committee. This committee is responsible for reviewing and recommending changes to video games deemed against the country’s morals. Several games were cited for “blood and gore,” “inharmonious chat,” and “basing rewards on player’s rank.”
The Light at the End of the Great Wall
China seems to be breaking out of this mold, however. In late December, the country created an Esports Athlete Registration Program, signing publishers Perfect World (Counterstrike), Tencent (Paladins), and NetEase. They also recognized several games eligible for athlete registration, including League of Legends and Dota 2.
With both the recognition of esports as a profession and the Esports Athlete Registration Program, China seems to be taking large steps to bring esports into the fold in the country.
Image Via: AP, Mark J. Terrill