Most of the BTS Army is up in arms learning the news that South Korean E-Sports players will be allowed exemption from their mandatory military service if they are to win Gold at the 2022 Asian Games being held in Hangzhou, China since September 24 2023.
Previously, soccer star Son Heung-Min was granted an exemption after helping the South Korean national team win gold at the 2018 Asian Games. He was only required to complete basic three-week training.An exemption would prove particularly important for League of Legends star Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-Hyeok, who turns 28 in May. The T1 mid laner, widely recognized as the best League of Legends player of all time, missed four weeks of action earlier this year because of a wrist problem.
“If everyone gets an exemption for winning gold medals, then you have to include those in esports,” Kim Myong-Won, a Seoul resident, told Nikkei Asia. “But it does sound strange that you can be exempt for sitting in front of a computer and playing games.”
The news of esports athletes potentially earning exemptions is likely to reignite a debate in South Korea that began when it was rumored that the government was considering allowing the members of BTS to skip service so that the boy band’s progress would not be interrupted.
But in October, all seven members announced that they would complete their service. On Friday 22 September 2023, Suga became the third member of the band to enlist, after Jin and J-Hope.
Analysts have been noticing that BTS’s impact is not only restricted to music and humanitarian work, but it is also positively influencing their own homeland and culture worldwide. Several institutes have provided data and results that indicate that the “BTS Effect” is contributing to South Korea in terms of culture, economy and industry.On Dec, 2018, the Hyundai Research Institute (HRI) reported that BTS generates an estimated amount of 4 trillion won ($3.54 billion) as economic value to the country per year and 1.42 trillion won ($1.26 billion) as added value per year. According to Statista’s analysis of 2018 company revenues report, BTS’ contribution to South Korea’s GDP is almost comparable with Korean Air.
With all this information, it can be understood why Army is upset that BTS was not granted the same exemption.
Written by: Yanika