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ESFI questions Rajasthan govt's move to club Esports along with fantasy games, seeks Anurag Thakur's intervention

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New Delhi, June 4 (Ajit Weekly News) Esports Federation of India (ESFI) has raised questions about the Rajasthan government’s decision to include Esports in the fantasy gaming category in the recently announced Virtual Online Sports (Regulation) Bill 2022, released by the Revenue Department of the state.

ESFI has termed the bill as “detrimental to the growth of Esports in India”.

As per ESFI, the Rajasthan Revenue Ministry had asked for comments and suggestions from all the stakeholders on the proposed draft by May 28 and it along with its affiliated association from the state has shared their concerns. The body has requested that Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sports Minister Ashok Chandna to remove esports from being part of Virtual Online Sports and the bill.

The federation has also requested Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, MoS Sports Nishith Pramanik and Secretary Sports Sujata Chaturvedi for their immediate intervention in the matter.

“It’s important to understand that not all games played electronically are Esports. The outcome of any Esports match is solely and purely dependent/based on the skills (physical & mental), and performances of the Esports athletes are just like cricket, badminton, etc.,” ESFI President Vinod Tiwari said in a release on Saturday.

“It’s absolutely wrong to club esports (a sport) with fantasy gaming or anything other than sports,” he added.

The ESFI has been sending Indian teams to Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games since 2007. In the last Asian Games in 2018, wherein Esports was played as a demonstration event, India’s Tirth Mehta had won the bronze medal in the Hearthstone title in Jakarta.

“At the 2022 Asian Games, Esports has been included as a medal sport and ESFI had shortlisted the 18-member Indian esports contingent after conducting a mega national, talents were chosen to be part of the Contingent based on the performances at the National Esports Championships 2022, to participate across five titles at the Asian Games,” the governing body said.

–Ajit Weekly News

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