The Chinese government’s interest in esports grows by the day. In April of 2019, the Chinese government announced that they’ve officially recognized the title of ‘esports operator’ and ‘esports professional’ as official careers. This time around, they’ve officially announced that they will have categorized the profession into five levels.
On Feb. 19th, China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (CMHRSS) announced the standard classification of occupations for esports professionals, alongside 12 other professions. According to the ministry, an esports professional is someone who either takes part in esports events, trains with pro players and/or competes in professional esport tournaments. They will be categorized into five levels (level 5 being the lowest, to level 1 being the highest), depending on their performances and achievements.
Players may be eligible for promotion. For example, for a person to promote to the highest level, they will need to have played for four years after the person gets his level 2 certificate, or is awarded at an international event.
CMHRSS comments, “There are more than 5,000 esports teams operating within China, with around 100,000 active pro players and 50,000 active amateur pro players. Despite such, a huge gap exists among these players, as less than 15% of those players meet the standards. We created this system to contribute to the rapid growth of the esports industry.”
Various industry insiders had different opinions to this news. Some think that it’s a step in the right direction of contributing towards the growth of the esports industry, as well as providing various measures for the players after they retire. However, others say that while it holds meaning in growing the industry, whether or not it’ll be practical is not yet known. They’ve further stated that not only do a lot of industry insiders are still unaware of this move by CMHRSS, they doubt how practical this move will be.
Even with the question of practicality, the fact that the government recognizes esports as an official profession holds a lot of meaning, as it opened doorways for potential support from the government. With esports now being officially recognized in China, it’ll be curious to see how other governments around the world will take action in further advancing esports.
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