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The International esports world championship at KeyArena in Seattle in 2016. (GeekWire Photo)

If esports ever becomes an Olympic event, don’t look for Germany to enthusiastically send along an elite team of video gamers.

Despite worldwide popularity that has propelled video game competition into the mainstream, the German Olympic Sports Confederation is holding fast to its ban on esports at Olympic events, according to a report in Unikrn.

“Esports does not exist. And it will not be included in the Olympic program,” said Alfons Hörmann, president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation.

If it does exist, Hörmann’s counterpart, Hesse Interior and Sports Minister Peter Beuth, did him one better in belittling esports.

“Esports are as little sport as knitting and recorder play,” Beuth said. “We must not allow the e-gaming industry to collect these sports assets. The idea that the e-gaming industry is vying for funding, I think is absurd.”

Despite those outdated opinions, Unikrn says that Germany’s esports culture is rooted in history. Dota 2’s first The International, esports’ first million-dollar event, was hosted there. There are popular esports teams based in Germany and the European League of Legends Championship is also hosted in Berlin.

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