Ministry of Defence recognises esports as an official military sport

british army esports playing

The UK Government’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has recognised esports as an official military sport.

In doing so, this will unlock more funding and new opportunities for personnel, according to this post on

The move is official recognition from the British Armed Forces that gaming and esports has benefits, such as fostering communication, leadership and strategic skills, as well as strengthening bonds between personnel.

The announcement was made by the Minister for Defence People, Doctor Andrew Murrison, earlier this month.

“This isn’t something just to be done out of work time, this is something that contributes massively to digital skills,” said Lt Gen Copinger-Symes. “We want to give [gamers] support doing it. We recognise the benefits it brings to defence.”

Claire Fry, Digital Skills for Defence Programme Lead, added: “Esports encapsulates all the kind of skills we need from people. The ability to think strategically, I think for our soldiers, sailors and air people, it’s about using technology and devices, those fine motor skills are really important as well.

“But for me, esports is all about putting digital on the map and people seeing that as something critical to defence, and can enhance what we do in our missions every day.”

The British Armed Forces’ involvement in esports is nothing new, of course, but recognising esports as an official military sport makes it clear that competitive gaming has been accepted by higher ups.

The British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force (RAF) and veterans all have esports teams or activities, as do other armed forces initiatives.

The Army often has a presence at Insomnia Gaming Festival – which is taking place this weekend – and other gaming events.

The Ministry of Defence is the department responsible for implementing the defence policy set by the UK Government, and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces.

Related article: Should the Army be allowed to exhibit at gaming festivals like Insomnia? Opinion on the blurred line between recruitment and engagement.

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