Image credit: eFITA
The Italian Taekwondo Federation (FITA) has officially entered esports through the creation of a national esports team.
Known as the eFITA National Team, the federation has named Italian Tekken player Daniel Madonia as its first representative.
The Italian Taekwondo Federation told Esports Insider that the idea of creating a team had been in the works for months and that, as of right now, eFITA National Team will only feature representatives in Tekken.
Madonia is currently ranked fourth in the 2023 Tekken World Tour following a fourth-place finish at Combo Breaker 2023, one of the circuit’s recently concluded Master-tier events. This was the first time that Madonia competed under eFITA. Last year, the player placed fourth in the Tekken World Tour 2022: West Europe Regional Finals.
According to the federation, the Tekken player will gain increased visibility under eFITA due to Madonia competing for an Italian National Federation in an official capacity. Alongside working with the player, eFITA is also collaborating with Italian esports organisation HG eSports, the team that Madonia represents.
Whilst sporting governing bodies embracing the esports industry is not a new occurrence, it certainly is rare to see a federation launch an esports national team.
FITA highlighted that the initiative was pushed by its Federal President, Angelo Cito, who has shown an openness to the developments of esports and is aware of “its importance and influence on future generations”. The federation also claimed the decision represents a ‘step forward’ for the recognition of esports as a sport discipline.
Over the last few years, there have been a growing number of initiatives that aim to propel esports into the traditional sporting world. This has varied from esports being included in major sporting events such as the SEA Games and 2022 Commonwealth Games to the development of esports products such as the Olympic Esports Week.
Tom has been part of Esports Insider’s team since October 2020 and is currently the platform’s Editor. When not playing Football Manager, he enjoys reporting on the mobile esports scene as well as the betting sector.