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Mayor Attends WirForce 2019 Opening Ceremony

Opening event for WiForce 2019 at Expo Park Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-Je attended the WirForce 2019 opening ceremony on November 21.

During his speech, he mentioned that the domestic and overseas esports industry has flourished in recent years, and the audience numbers are also showing signs of increase. This year, the Southeast Asian Games was held in the Philippines in November, and esports has been included as an official sport. Similarly, esports is also an official sport at the 2022 Asian Games Hangzhou. Therefore, it is evident that esports is set to become the trend of the foreseeable future, and that is why Taipei City Government is nurturing it as an industry by adopting the policy of Private Initiative Supported by Government Resources and Public-Private Partnership.

According to Mayor Ko, the government’s priority is to rectify the name of esports and organize more competitions, while the Department of Education will also assist in the annual Information and Communications Technology (ICT) competitions. Furthermore, the Department of Sports, Department of Economic Development (DOED), and Department of Information Technology also consider promoting esports competitions as their responsibility. Next, the emphasis is placed on nurturing the industry; as a matter of fact, the DOED has hosted several forums in this regard.

The most important of all, however, is the cultivation of talents; as far as Taipei City Government is concerned, the private sector should spearhead the movement, while the government will put various departments and offices to work in areas such as name rectification, talent cultivation, industry nurturing, and competition promotion, thereby advancing esports through concerted efforts.

Ko commented that the annual WirForce consolidates 4 major fields including gaming, esports, live streaming, and music, attracting nearly 150,000 people last year (2018). The online audience amounted to 60 million, reaching a new milestone in the Taiwanese esports industry. For the 6th WirForce event, the Expo Dome is no longer able to accommodate all the participants, with visitors overflowing from the venue. This suggests that the event is becoming more successful. Mayor Ko pointed out that larger space allows more room for diversified activities; therefore, the city government will do everything to assist the competition.

He expressed his thanks to 4Gamers, the organizer of WirForce, for turning it into the largest esports carnival in Asia. He believes that the next step is to internationalize the event and attract more overseas participants. Achieving this goal is simple because the city government will develop esports as an industry, hoping to increase Taiwan’s international exposure in esports through this event and in turn attract more people to become involved. The city government will treat esports as an important industry in Taipei City, hence a wide array of assistance measures will be provided in hopes of fostering collaborations.