When scores of countries implemented strict lockdowns to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, many young people who would otherwise have been participating in traditional outdoor sports, turned to the fast-growing competitive electronic sports (esports) arena instead.
The emerging esports industry had already been identified by the Andorran government as a potentially lucrative new stream of income, with the sector enjoying strong double-digit year-on- year growth in the years prior to the pandemic. Given the microstate’s excellent telecoms infra- structure that provide super fast broadband con- nections, the hosting of live esports tournaments featuring significant prize money had been dis- cussed regularly by officials. While travel restric- tions have disrupted that aim in the near term at least, the country is seeking to become a leading player in the development of the fledgling sector. Last year, officials announced plans to establish a comprehensive legal framework to pave the way for the formation of properly run clubs for national and international esports competitions.
“This is another step on the path to diversification with a strategic sector in which Andorra can be competitive,” noted Minister Jordi Gallardo Fernàndez, who is creating a strategic plan to promote the new form of entertainment, both on a professional and non-professional basis.