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Denmark: sport recognition of esport irrelevant; A role model for Germany?

Anyone who occasionally follows my blog may have noticed that I am an opponent of insisting in politics that esport is recognized as a sport. In fact, I believe that the political actors are doing industry a disservice, since recognition as a sport (legally precisely the subsuming under Paragraph 52 AO No 21) is highly unlikely and therefore the industry has not been legally able to do so for years. equality with other leisure activities is made possible and thus the spread in the wider area, i.e. in clubs, is severely impeded.

My comments can be found in more detail here and here and on the DOSB here and here. My legal analysis of the DOSB’s opinion can be found in this post.

Yesterday a meeting took placeat the Royal Danish Embassy in Berlin. In the context of this, there were many interesting lectures on the situation of esport in Denmark and how the small country was able to have so much success with esport and to create legal as well as economic framework conditions in order to create teams like Astralis to produce.

Lasse Hoffmann Kirkelund from the Danish Ministry of Culture gave a very interesting lecture on the topic“The development and promotion of eSports in Denmark”. He presented very excitingly how the Danish Government organized for all parties in the esports industry in Denmark to sit down at the table and discuss the needs of the individual parties in order to ensure that the development of esports and in particular, to achieve legal equality in order to promote the country’s very progressive digital agenda.

This led not only to financial support, but also to the establishment of schools and much more. Lasse Hoffmann Kirkelund ended his lecture with the mantra I have so often said that the question of whether esport can be classified as a sport was irrelevant to Denmark at some point, when the activity of esport was legally equal.

That is exactly what I am trying to stress over and over again. In Germany, esport, which is now much more than a trend but is already a social development, must be legally equal. There must be funding opportunities, associations must be recognized as non-profit-making within the framework of Section 52 of the Tax Code, if they otherwise offer the advantages for society that the legislator wants to promote with the standard. There must be ways in which players can be promoted and later possibly transferred to professional teams, and otherwise there must also be equality in the sense of Art 3 of the Basic Law.

If this is achieved, and I do not think there is any political or legal reason not to demand and decide on this, both professional teams and the club can consider the question of recognition as a sport (or more precisely in legal terms: the inclusion of sport. associations such as the ESBD in the DOSB).

Jakob Lund Kristensen, CCO and founder of Astralis, made a similar statement at the event. Kristina Herbst, State Secretary for the Interior in Schleswig-Holstein, also emphasized that for the federal state, the question of the concept of sport is at most secondary. Jakob Lund Kristensen emphasized how important it is as a professional team to be truly professional, to have solid financing and – at least as a professional team – to finally understand esport as a business. Something that I’m constantly trying to explain to clients who want to professionalize teams.

In a similar way, esport can also be made more successful in Germany, both in the professional and leisure sectors. To achieve this, however, some actors must at last rethink, introduce less pathos into the discussion and sit down at the table with the political actors in a sensible manner and purposefully, without slamming our heads together, like ares in the turf war! The current discussion is typical German. Everything is shredded, no one goes to another and in the end both sides lose. A circumstance that Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen also süffisantly reproached Germany in his opening speech yesterday.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.


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