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DOSB and Esport: My comment on the comment

Yesterday I published my comment on the current decision of the DOSB. On news and on social media, there was actually mostly good criticism for the content, but also some questions and criticisms. Since the discussion on the topic continues on Twitter, I would like to add a few points and at the same time clarify a few questions that might interest many people in the industry.

  1. No, the DOSB does not decide what esport is. This is what society does in principle and, ultimately, it is the policy or the legislators and the courts that decides. For example, Paragraph 22 of the Ordinance on the Employment of Foreigners (Employment Ordinance – BeschV) does not refer to sport at all, but to ‘persons, including their auxiliary staff, who, while retaining their habitual residence in the abroad in lectures or in performances of special scientific or artistic value or at performances activities in the national country if the duration of the activity does not exceed 90 days within a period of 12 months,[…]. A good example of this is that it is now easier (though not easy) for esports players in Germany to obtain a visa in Germany. The Foreign Office recently issued an administrative order allowing third-country eSports players to enter Germany for a short period of time in a simplified procedure for participation in tournaments, but also for test and selection matches, while obtain exemption from the necessary approval by the Federal Employment Agency.
  2. I received feedback from the DOSB itself, my comment would get the business wrong, yes I wouldn’t be 100& correct, because the professional leagues would also be outside the DOSB. However, I could not understand the criticism, because there is probably a great misunderstanding here. As I actually stated explicitly in the conclusion of my comment, I believe that no Esport Association, be it the game e.V. or the ESBD, absolutely must be a member of the DOSB. Esport doesn’t really need this. He is, indeed, alone capable of building structures. At the moment, however, he still needs some help from politics. However, this does not change the fact that I find the argument that esport cannot be accepted because it is based on commercial interests. This is simply not true or simply there is no difference to any other major sport. In esports, there are companies, leagues and teams that put the economics of their own actions in the foreground. That is right and also important. But the same is true in football. There are sponsors, leagues and marketers. Nevertheless, no one at the DOSB would come up with the idea of denying football as such the sporting status with the argument of commerce. The error of reasoning is particularly striking when one considers the ESBD e. V. As a goal of the association, the “promoting eSports. eSports in the sense of The purpose of the statutes is the sport-competitive playing of video or video computer games, especially on computers and consoles, according to established rules.” Other The contents of the statutes clearly show that the ESBD is not concerned with the commercial marketing of esports or the promotion of commercial enterprises, but with the support of the common good and the promotion of esport in general. In esport, therefore, there are similar structures and demarcations as in football between DOSB, DFB or DFL. However, esport itself is said to be mainly driven by commercial interest. The fact that this statement can therefore either not be correct or at least not “the end of the flagpole” is a formal ity.
  3. It is a pity that the DOSB tries to defend itself on social media and does not recognize the main problem, namely that esport is a social trend and that esport (yes, the individual esport titles, because in the DOSB is also not used by ball sports must therefore be seen separately from companies. Esport must be seen as a trend, as a change in the leisure activities of young people and young adults, which takes place both detached from commercial leagues and connected with commercial structures. The fact that the DOSB does not recognize or do not want to recognize this distinction and a clean separation leads in the discussion precisely to the fact that the opinion is debunked as that or at least perceived as just that: fear of social Changes and incapacity to adapt to changing usage patterns and interests. The latter is even clear by wanting to prevent the spread in clubs and openly admitting that there are simply not enough funds to share them with esport. This statement shows most clearly to me that the opinion of the DOSB is not what it claims to be: “An honest opinion and a simple analysis of whether esport fits the value canon of the DOSB.” Rather, the opinion – for me – is a statement of the way in which decisions are taken in traditional association structures and what they are really about: Money and distribution struggles.

My conclusion therefore remains:

Opportunity missed. No matter what the original intention of the DOSB’s opinion was. So much could have been done from integrating esports, streaming habits, and sports.

New media and new habits could have been combined with classic sport and young people could have been inspired by both. What remains now is a heap of shards, two currents that are supposedly incompatible and – in my view – a growing problem of classical sport in the next decade.

Word-clawing has been gained and at least the impression that organisations such as the DOSB are not prepared for the future.

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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