Thai government recognises esports as official sport

28 September 2021


The Thai E-Sports Federation (TESF), a body established to manage esports in Thailand, has announced that esports will be recognised as a professional sport in the country.

Image credit: Sanook

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On September 20, the TESF shared a notice from the Royal Gazette, a public journal of record that publishes law and regulatory notifications from the Thai government, declaring esports as a professionally recognised sport.

The declaration will unlock numerous benefits for the local esports industry and its constituents. This includes access to funding, national honours, promotion, and support to assist with the management of events, clubs, and other associations. Additionally, eligible esports teams and athletes will gain access to financial support from the Sports Authority of Thailand and its Professional Sports Promotion Fund.

According to Thaiger, esports will be the 14th professionally recognised sport in Thailand.

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Headquartered in Bangkok, the TESF organises and sanctions competitions both domestically and internationally across Southeast Asia. This notably includes the 2020 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang tournament, which courted Razer and Samsung Galaxy as event partners.

Esports Insider says: The Thai government’s recognition of esports is a fairly significant moment for the nation. Local governing bodies are able to unlock a lot of resources and support to gracefully nurture initiatives into existence as we’ve seen in other areas such as New Jersey. To have the nation’s support behind esports in Thailand is a very positive development for the greater industry.

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