Some of the best eSports players from Britain, Brazil, USA and Canada will take part in a new international competition during a pop-up event at the Rio Olympics this summer.
The eGames tournament will hand out bronze, silver and gold medals to participants, much like the traditional Olympic Games. It’s a not-for-profit initiative and there will not be any prize money.
It’s not clear at this stage which games will feature in the eGames, though other countries are able to form eSports teams to enter.
The eGames competition will run in the host country during each Olympic Games every four years, starting in Brazil this year.
The initiative has been backed by the UK Government, with culture minister Ed Vaizey saying: “I want the Government to get behind eSports. I think eSports is the next frontier for us.
“I think the UK and London can be one of the world capitals for it. I’d love London to host the eGames Olympics and to see people from all over the world play in a range of games.”
Vaizey also encouraged UK citizens to vote to stay in the European Union so that we can ‘attract the best e-gamers’, and he said we should think about how we can actively engage in getting more women taking part in eSports.
“The eGames promises to be an exciting venture that will give eSports competitors across the UK even more opportunities to showcase their talents on an international stage,” Vaizey added. “I welcome the ambitions of the IEGC and their efforts to promote the UK as a leading nation in the eSports sector.”
The International eGames Committee (IEGC) announcement was announced today as part of the London Games Festival.
The IEGC will set up an International Advisory Board to assist in running the eGames and assist it with ‘instilling good governance, responsible gaming and ensuring the competition is inclusive and diverse’.
“We plan to take the very best practice from the sports world and bring it to competitive gaming. Our ambition is to bring credibly to the sector, dignity to the players and inspiration to the spectators,” said Chester King, chief marketing officer at the International eGames Group.
Jules Robinson, head of business development at Pinewood Group, where the IECG will operate from, added: “We are delighted to be welcoming this exciting new initiative to our growing gaming community here at Pinewood. This bolsters our ambitions for Pinewood Games to become the leading games hub and go to location for the British games industry looking for state of the art facilities and a cluster of likeminded companies to work alongside.
“The IEGC will also be able to take advantage of outstanding venues for hosting events as well as our industry leading broadcasting services, which will prove essential in delivering all the action that the eSports community demands.”
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.