What South Africa can learn from “France eSports”

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In the past several months, France, has been undergoing developments in governmental associating which aims to legalize and represent eSports at a political level. Two days ago the French senate amended their Numeric Law which recognized eSports players, teams, organizations and tournament hosts. France’s process to legalize eSports has been lengthy, and although the new “France eSports” division of government has not been named as a federation, yet, their process has been just and the proper precautions have been stream-lined in order to ensure fairness. We could definitely learn a thing or two from France.

Political Correctness

The final process is underway for French eSports, and in the upcoming months as the Numeric Law is recognized, the organization will represent all bodies in electronic sports, and will serve as a partner to the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (similar to SASCOC). Matthieu Dallon offered a statement which I feel resonates with South Africa, and many eSports bodies around the globe.

“The point isn’t to say we are a federation of esports. I think culturally, France isn’t ready… Esports probably isn’t ready either, it will still evolve in the way we play it and how games are created. The first step is to show the maturity of the actors.”

The Numeric Law is in progress, and the senate will vote on the amendment on May 3rd. As the organization pushes for the legalization of eSports, the feeling from the eSports Observer article is that they are making sure they do it the right way, with an organization created by gamers, for gamers.

“I believe the essential point is to get esports out of gambling regulations, and end up with easy to follow regulations. We need to push the development of esports without inducing too much complexity.”

As of now, no powers have been given to the association. The due legal process is underway, but the association’s members have defined their roles very clearly and to be honest, there representation deserves all the accolades.

According to eSports Observer, these are the current roles, with membership changes presented at the next Extraordinary General Assembly on March 31st, 2017.

  • Matthieu Dallon, will be the president of the association. He is also the CEO of Oxent and Toornament, organising the ESWC and providing solutions for tournament organisers). Matthieu Dallon has been, along with Rémy Chanson, on the forefront of esports’ addition in the Numeric Law.
  • Rémy Chanson, will be the secretary-general. He will be the representant of Webedia Gaming (Jeuxvideo.com, Millenium, IGN).
  • Alt Tab Productions (O’Gaming), represented by Hadrien “Thud” Noci.
  • Futurolan (Gamers Assembly), represented by Vincent Colas.
  • LDLC Events, represented by Stéphan Euthine.
  • Lyon eSport, represented by Nicolas Di Martino.
  • Malorian (Dreamhack France), represented by Jean-Christophe Arnaud.
  • Turtle Entertainment France (ESL), represented by Samy Ouerfelli.
  • Syndicat des Editeurs de Logiciels de Loisirs (SELL), represented by Emmanuel Martin.
  • Syndicat National du Jeu Vidéo (SNJV), represented by Julien Villedieu.
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South Africa, take notes

South Africa has no clear representation for eSports. If we take a look at the process mentioned above, a lot of time and consideration has gone into legalizing eSports. Some people in South Africa will tell you that eSports is well represented, yet the teams we field in certain international federation tournaments are nowhere near the current standard seen in private tournaments. Some people will also argue that the representation is there, but when 90% of the community disregard it, and the other 10% get a free trip overseas (I’m not making this up, someone actually outright said they joined the squad for a free trip) you cannot say you represent the interest of eSports in South Africa.

When last have we heard from a figurehead or president of any association representing eSports? When last have the government made any public acknowledgement of eSports? I’m talking an official statement, not a puff piece editorial posted to local news sites. The fact is we continue to allow a certain organization to make decisions, conjured up by individuals who have close to no idea how the industry works.  Take a look at the French representatives and their credentials. We unfortunately don’t ESL and other big name organization’s representation in South Africa, but it’s important to note that none of them are board game champions making crucial decisions which decide the future of local eSports.

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Last Updated: April 29, 2016

Kyle Wolmarans

Critical Hit's esports guy. I talk about esports and drink whiskey. I also write and cast for elsewhere - but my work here is independent of that.

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