Thailand now officially recognizes esports as a professional sport

Thailand joined the big leagues when it was announced that esports would be considered a professional sport on Tuesday.

Ready up: The official notice was published through the Royal Thai Government Gazette and was reposted on the Thai E-Sports Federation (TESF)’s Facebook page.

  • The announcement means that esports athletes and teams are eligible for financial support from the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) and its “Professional Sports Promotion Fund,” NationThailand reported.

  • Recognized teams will also get honors and support from officials for their athletic development and welfare, in addition to national and international promotions and help with the management of their sporting events, clubs and other associations.

  • In 2020, SAT and Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports sponsored ESL One events for Dota 2 and ESL National Tournament events, with a total prize pool of $200,000 and $32,755 respectively, according to Esports Talk.

  • The TESF also organized competitions like its 2020 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang tournament, which was partnered by Razer and Samsung Galaxy.

  • On Wednesday, the International Esports Federation (IESF) congratulated the country and the Thailand E-sports Federation for its entrance into the professional gaming world over Twitter.

  • This would make esports 14th in the line of Thailand’s recognized professional sports, which are football, golf, jet skiing, sepak takraw, volleyball, motorcycle racing, cycling, bowling, snooker, badminton, tennis, basketball and auto racing, according to Thaiger.

Featured Image via Florian Olivo

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