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First eSports version of the Olympics is happening

eGames eSports Olympics.png

There has previously been talk about the day that eSports becomes part of the Olympics, and on 6 April, it became just a step closer to reality when eGames was announced at the London Games Festival.

The announcement revealed that the British government will be backing a non-profit initiative called the International eGames Committee – or IEGC for those preferring abbreviations – who will bring “good governance, responsible gaming” to the competitive landscape while “ensuring the competition is inclusive and diverse.”

eGames: Website | Twitter

The Olympics of eSports is coming

The first eGames will take place this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil around a month after the Olympic Games have been completed. The tournament will take place in the Olympic arenas with assistance from the International Olympic Committee.

Future eGames events will be run during every Olympic year – both winter and summer – in the Olympic host cities after the games have completed, meaning that there will be an eGames event every two years.

So far eTeam UK, eTeam USA, eTeam Brazil and eTeam Canada (the term eTeam is the IEGC’s, not ours), have been confirmed for Rio 2016, but the number of countries looks set to increase as the official eGames website says that “each country will have the opportunity to enter their eTeam.” How that qualifying process will be handled is unclear, but it does seem that qualifiers will form part of the program.

During non-Olympic years, countries will host domestic National Qualifiers to determine the players that will make up each team which will be a mixture of male and female players over 18 years old. Matches will be played across both team and individual games, but the games themselves have not been confirmed.


Play for medals and feel the pride

The eGames will follow – according to IEGC – “other globally established sporting events,” and will not feature any prize money but medals and “national pride”. Whether this will cause current ‘professional’ players to not consider participating will remain to be seen, but up for grabs will the traditional gold, silver and bronze offered at the Olympics.

Finish line

With the growth in prize pools happening on an almost daily basis in eSports, there may be some resistant to an idea like this but it might be an endeavour that helps move our beloved eSports a little more directly into the line of sight of mainstream audiences.

I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on eGames and what it might bring to eSports scene globally and locally, so please drop a comment below.

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