Foreign esports players can now apply for a special visa to compete in the country.
Esports is getting more recognized as the industry grows throughout the world, and France is pursuing its strategy to make the country more attractive ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
A “national esports ecosystem” to regulate the industry is being created and is to be revealed next summer, France Esports President Désiré Koussawo said in a press conference last night.
The conference gathered esports personalities, the France Esports association, as well as the Minister of Sports and Deputy Minister of digital transition in Paris.
This structure will aim to make France a “big esports nation,” as French President Emmanuel Macron declared in September 2022, by educating people and institutions on the industry, as well as strengthening communication between companies, esports organizations, and the government.
To build an efficient structure, the French government will collaborate with esports organizations and publishers.
Additionally, esports players can now apply for a visa dedicated to “talents” to compete in France for several years. They could only apply for tourism visas or work visas previously, which led to delays in players competing in official leagues, such as League of Legends‘ LFL.
The esports event that will take place in parallel to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games was also clarified during the press conference. It will consist of an “Olympic Esports Week,” and its format is planned to be detailed later this year.
Founded in 2016, France Esports is an association that aims to propel the industry to the next level in the manner of an unofficial federation, similar to South Korea’s KeSPA.
It will collaborate with the government and esports personalities to bring this strategy to fruition as the 2024 Olympic Games approaches.