The Jakarta Post
The Youth and Sports Ministry and the Indonesian Sports Council (KONI) have recognized esports as a sports field, allowing video games to be contested in official competitions such as the National Games (PON).
The recognition was announced during the KONI’s national virtual meeting from Aug. 25 to 27. The government also inaugurated the Indonesian Esports Central Board (PB ESI) as an association to foster athletes and hold competitions.
PB ESI operational director, police general Comr. Gen. Bambang Sunarwibowo, said esports deserved to be recognized as an official sport because it required athletes to be skilled in “speed, agility and strategy, just like any other sports.”
He added that the sport had been included in national and international sport competitions, such as the 2018 Asian Games, which hosted competitions of video games such as League of Legends and Pro Evolution Soccer as demonstration events.
A year later, esports was contested in the medal program of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines.
KONI secretary-general Ade Lukman conveyed his support for esports’ future in the country. “Hopefully, under PB ESI, Indonesian esports athletes and teams can earn achievements at the international level and make the nation proud.”
The government has vowed to develop the gaming industry as well as esports as one of the drivers for the country’s economic growth.