Esports is growing fast worldwide, including Indonesia. However, something was missing from the Indonesian ecosystem — which is the recognition of the government. Now, that problem is solved after esports is acknowledged as a sports branch by the Indonesia Ministry of Youth and Esports (Kemenpora) and Indonesia National Sports Committee (KONI).
The recognition is officially concluded during the 2020 National Conference (Rakernas) of Central KONI that held virtually on August 25th-27th, 2020. Being recognized as an official sports branch, this means esports could be included in nation-wide official sports competition, such as National Sports Week (PON).
Furthermore about official sports branch, according to the Constitution (Act No. 3 of 2005 on National Sports Systems), it’s said that: “Official sports are conducted through planned, tiered, and sustainable development with the supports of sports science and technology.”
That’s why this recognition is expected to transform esports to be more structured to boost its growth.
Komjen. Pol. Drs. Bambang Sunarwibowo, S.H., M.Hum as the Daily Chairman of PB ESI said that there are some reasons why esports could be included as sports. First, esports use human agility, speed, and brain as well as sports. He also added that esports competition has already been held in various national or event international events, such as the Asian Games 2018 and SEA Games 2019.
According to the press release, this conference also officially recognized that Indonesia Esports Managing Committee (PB ESI) is the only institution that covers esports in Indonesia under KONI.
It’s undebatable that the government can have a significant impact on developing industry. In the esports ecosystem, we saw that there was growth by 25% from 2018 to 2019 in China because (one of the reasons) the government already officially acknowledge professions in esports. The local government of Shanghai and Hainan also actively supports esports tournaments.
South Korea is also another country that could be seen as an example. Esports ecosystem in South Korea snowballed because of the significant development from internet and telecommunication infrastructure, Korea E-Sports Association (KeSPA), and government’s investments in the industry. The results? As we can see, South Korea becomes one of the center of the esports industry in the world and home to so many high tier esports players.
However, despite the declaration, some follow-up questions need to be asked. Hopefully, this declaration could start the momentum to improve Indonesian esports ecosystem.
The original article is in Indonesian, translated by Yabes Elia