According to Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics, e-sport has grown to become one of the most dynamically developing sports, and with the appearance of 5G networks the opportunities for further progress are endless.

The Minister gave a speech prior to the finals of the Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) championship at the V4 Future Sports Festival held at Budapest’s Hungexpo exhibition centre, with total prize money of 300 thousand euros.

Mr. Palkovics pointed out that the first e-sport competition was organised in 1972 at Stanford University, and today the world of competitive video games and the popularity of e-sport cannot be questioned, in view of the fact that in 2019, 427 million people around the world are fans of the sport and some 425 thousand people in Hungary are involved in playing video games competitively.

The Minister said that the increasing popularity and proliferation of e-sport is indicated by the fact that the major European sports clubs have also begun to show interest in it, with historic Hungarian sports clubs such as Honvéd, DVTK, UTE and MTK all having e-sport sections, with the latter in the process of constructing an e-sport arena, and an e-sport centre is already operating at Debrecen’s stadium.

Mr. Palkovics highlighted the fact that digitalisation is the revolution of our era, which is changing and restructuring everything, and as a result young, new technologies are becoming increasingly widespread: 5G, IoT, Big Data and artificial intelligence are fundamentally changing whole sectors from industry, through agriculture, to transport.

“Hungary has decided to be one of the formers of digital processes, not just a follower of the latest trends, thus providing the opportunity to be one of the winners of the future”, the Minister said, recalling that the Digital Prosperity Program was launched in 2015, and further expanded by the Government last year, and now also includes a digital sport strategy, adding: “The Cabinet has decided to support the cause of e-sport”.

The Minister drew attention to the fact that Hungary is in 11th place worldwide with relation to the national coverage of 4G networks and is ranked 8th in the world with relation to download speed.

Mr. Palkovics closed his speech by reporting on the fact that the professional plan for the 5G strategy is already complete, and declaring that proliferation of fifth generation mobile networks will also open up endless opportunities within the field of e-sport.