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KeSPA lost its status as a recognized sports organization in the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee: Here’s what you need to know

KeSPA is no longer a recognized sports organization within the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee

The Korean e-Sports Association (KeSPA) lost its status as a recognized sports organization in the Korean Sport & Olympic committee, according to a report Wednesday from This Is Game.

KeSPA apparently failed to meet the committee’s new standards established in 2016. KeSPA published a statement in response, and here’s what you need to know about the development:

The Korean Olympic Committee merged with Korea Council of Sport for All last year and became the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee. The committee adopted new standards for what it took to be recognized as a sports organization. As a result, 24 organizations (including KeSPA) were placed in a temporary “disqualified group” for the next year.

Those organizations had one year to fulfill the new requirements to retain their status. As part of the process, they had to create at least nine national city or province branches, which are smaller sport associations at different cities throughout the country. In its statement, KeSPA explained that creating nine national branches in a single year was “near impossible,” and the organization focused on matters beyond maintaining its status with the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee. (KeSPA told Inven Global the number of additional branches was six before releasing its own statement, and we’ve reached out to clarify.)

According to KeSPA: “(We) decided to expand on its officially recognized esports PC Clubs, which can act as the sites of baseline competition to create a healthy systematic amateur environment in order to properly create the chapters and branches and join city-based or provincial sports committees with a more long-term and substantial plan instead of forcefully creating the right number of branches in the given time frame.”

Only two of the 24 initially disqualified organizations met the standards for inclusion in the Korean Sport & Olympic committee, according go the Inven Global report. KeSPA urged fans not to read too much into its status with the committee when drawing conclusions about whether esports should be classified as a sport. KeSPA also pledged to continue to promote esports as an official Olympic sport, as it will be represented in international competitions like the Asian Games starting in 2022.


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