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The Russian government says competitive video gaming is a sport

13:59, 8 june 2016

Russia’s Sports Ministry has officially recognized competitive video gaming (known as “eSports”) as a sport. The decision takes effect on July 18, 2016.

eSports will be now be developed with the federal government's financial and administrational support. The most successful participants will be awarded the titles “Master of Sports of Russia,” “International Master of Sports,” and “Honored Master of Sports of Russia.” It's still unclear what kinds of eSports the government plans to oversee in an official capacity.

This isn't the first time Russian officials have recognized eSports. Between 2001 and 2006, it was also officially recognized, until the Sports Ministry changed its mind.

On April 20, 2016, the International Olympic Committee presented the International eSports Federation with road map for the integration of eSports into future Olympic Games. eSports may be included in the Olympics starting in 2020.

Photo on front page: Gabriel Saldana / Flickr / CC 2.0