DOTA 2's International will likely move from Sweden because the government doesn't think...

midian182

Posts: 7,077   +62
Staff member
What just happened? The argument over whether esports should be classified as a sport brings plenty of passionate voices, but it seems Sweden is firmly in the "no, it shouldn't" camp. And because the country's government refuses to classify esports as a sport, the DOTA 2 world championships are unlikely to be held in Stockholm.

Valve writes that it started working with Sweden back in 2019 to ensure the tenth DOTA International tournament could be held in the country during 2020. The pandemic ensured that never happened, but the company was given assurances by Stockholm Live and Visit Stockholm that this year's Championships would qualify for the same exemptions as other elite sporting events.

However, the Swedish Sports Federation two weeks ago voted not to accept esports into the sports federation. Valve then appealed to Sweden's Minister of the Interior to reclassify The International - Dota 2 Championships as an elite sporting event, only for the request to be denied.

Failing to secure the designation means anyone attempting to gain a visa for travel to Sweden, including players, talent, and staff, would likely be denied. It also means individual border agents would be making decisions about entry for those traveling from outside the EU who do not typically need a visa.

Valve has twice appealed to the Swedish government to reconsider but to no avail. "As a result, and in light of the current political situation in Sweden, we have started looking for possible alternatives elsewhere in Europe to host the event this year," it wrote.

Image credit: Roman Kosolapov

Permalink to story.

 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,840   +5,898
I believe e-sport is anti-sport, as far as participants' health is concerned. J-ng off a mouse at a table is not a healthy exercise.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,126   +863
Staff member
They aren't wrong. Sports are performed by athletes expending physical energy and trained reflexes in competition. Baseball is a sport. Games are performed by players using mental prowess and sometimes trained reflexes in competition. Chess is a game, so is Dota 2. That does not devalue the competition by any means. Esports have become very popular, but popularity does not define a sport. Should esports be allowed into a sports federation? It's up to the federation, but if I'm on the board it's a no vote. Should they be allowed in the Olympics? Again. Up to me, that's a big hello no.

Well, they’re not real sports. Just like Reality TV isn’t real life. That doesn’t mean that people won’t watch it though.
Reality TV is also not real TV. ;)
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,030   +1,521
TechSpot Elite
All subjective. If the definition of sports relies upon "expanding physical energy and trained reflexes in competition" - then esports could qualify more as sports than they couldn't. The reflexes, timing, and strategy required to play at these highest levels easily equates to 'traditional' sports.

Is physical and mental energy exerted in esports in training 12 to 18 hours a day, the mental toll it takes to play real-time, virtualized chess levels of logic in a team-based environment to accomplish a common goal, over another team sounding like traditional sports, anyone?

Just because you're not sweating and bouncing a ball up and down doesn't mean that you're exerting at least as much effort. The old school mentality of denial and misunderstanding will die out eventually, society will adapt to accepting esports as legitimate (although not the same) as traditional sports.

What's particularly sad is that Sweden, among many other countries/entities can't see the massive cash flow potential via taxes, endorsements, and league opportunities right in front of them. Considering that esports has a larger audience than any American sport (including the NFL), and their tournament prize pools have squashed the PGA/US Open Golf prize pools - maybe it's time to wake up.
 
What an absolutely useless article. Maybe you should mention that the REAL reason isn't that my government ReFuSeS!!1 to classify E-sport as a real sport, but that there's a god damn pandemic going on. Classifying it as a real sport would circumnavigate certain travel bans and gatherings laws, and my government did indeed refuse to make such a ridiculous exemption for such a banal reason. The laws were made explicitly to NOT allow such events, so why would they go against their own wishes.

Ugh...
 
What's particularly sad is that Sweden, among many other countries/entities can't see the massive cash flow potential via taxes, endorsements, and league opportunities right in front of them. Considering that esports has a larger audience than any American sport (including the NFL), and their tournament prize pools have squashed the PGA/US Open Golf prize pools - maybe it's time to wake up.
This is a severely biased, click-bait article that doesn't mention the real reason Sweden won't classify E-sport as a real sport, which is that it was asked for it in order to circumnavigate Sweden's pandemic laws. You think it would be proper for my government to, first restrict traveling and large gatherings to protect people's lives only to rescind those same laws because a few hundred spotty teens want to play computer games and in by doing so exploit a loop-hole in the laws?

So, yes, I agree it's time to wake up - but for another reason.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,827   +790
"Unless you're exerting yourself physically, it's not a sport.'

https://www.chess.com/article/view/is-chess-a-sport

Then you can't call chess a sport. In fact, eSports has more movement than chess. If you take a person and put him into a racing simulator, except for physically wrecking and G-force, he's moving about same

My opinion is if you get paid to compete or win some kind of prize money, then it's a sport, physical exertion notwithstanding.

The argument would be different between a game and athletics.
 
Last edited:

Old Molases

Posts: 62   +10
If they think that e-sports is not a real sport they should revisit the number of players that are from Sweden in the industry. One prime example of this Janne Stefanovski. His game name is "Gorgc" and plays for Team Bald. Not only he professional Dota 2 player but also quite famous on Twitch as a streamer. It would be quite reasonable if a legit reason was provided by the Swedish Government.