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Esports in Germany: Growth after obstacles

Considered the epicenter of European eSports, especially when it comes to leagues, Germany currently hosts some of the biggest eSports tournaments in the world, such as ESL One and VALORANT Champions 2021, the European Championships. European League of Legends.

The size of Germany in the global economy underscores the importance and potential of Germany as an esports market. Germany is an economic powerhouse, the largest in Europe by GDP.

Esports in Germany: Growth after obstacles - Photo 1

The German esports federation eSport-Bund Deutschland (ESBD) was founded in 2017 as a registered association with the mission of promoting the German esports scene. The country has many outstanding athletes in League of Legends, Dota 2, FIFA and CS:GO with familiar names such as Maurice ‘Amazing’ Stü Chickenchneider, Berk ‘Gilius’ Demir and Felix ‘Abbedpris’ Braun.

Esports is popular in Germany, but the subject has many difficulties. In 2018, the German federal government agreed to recognize esports as an official sport. Later, however, the German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) stated that esports did not meet the criteria to be considered a sporting activity.

eSports in Germany: Development after all the difficulties - Figure 2

However, that hasn’t stopped the government from supporting esports. Following the 2018 government announcement, solutions were developed to make it easier for eSports players to obtain visas and participate in competitions. Esports is classified as a “sporting event” in the visa brochure of the German Federal Foreign Office, simplifying the entry process for esports players and support staff.

A series of famous major events are held in Germany. It’s home to the famous League of Legends European Championship (LEC), which has hosted countless stops in the ESL One series, and IEM Cologne plays a major role in CS:GO.

Esports in Germany: Growth after obstacles - Photo 3

The Germans have also launched various higher education programs, from tournaments to esports management courses. Educational institutions such as HS Mittweida, Macromedia Fachhochschule, Hochschule für angewandtes Management and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) also offer degree programmes related to esports and esports management.

In addition, Uniliga, the former German eSports University, is the school-level eSports organizer for German universities. Uniliga is also involved in supporting EURC – the Rocket League of European Universities, providing access to developer Psyonix’s University World Championships.