The eGames is how the UK is kick-starting the future of competitive gaming
Announced during the London Games Festival, and run by international and independent body the International eSports Committee, the eGames are a global nonprofit eSports tournament with a difference. Instead of a pot of money awash with sponsorship deals and private investors, the eGames is about bringing the values of traditional sports to eSports and incubate UK eSports talent.
Just like an eSports version of the Olympics, the eGames pit national teams against one another as they compete for bronze, silver or gold medals and the opportunity to win for their country.
The first planned eGames event is set to take place alongside the Rio 2016 Olympics as a two-day pop-up taster event to showcase exactly what eSports can do on a global scale. So far four nations have signed up their “eTeams” to take part in the first eGames, with Britain, Brazil, Canada and the USA all vying to make their nation the best in the world at eSports. That is until Korea’s superior talent decides it wants to get in on the party…
The eGames governing body, the IEGC, will set up an International Advisory Board to overlook the eGames, helping to instill good governance, responsible gaming and to ensure both diversity and inclusivity are at the core of everything eSports.
While there are some who seem to be dismissing the eGames as yet another experiment waiting to fail, or the UK government missing the point. It’s worth noting that the IEGC is far more than just the eGames, it’s a body that has the power to revolutionise the UK’s attitude to eSports.
Traditional sport has a wonderful, firm, base in the UK as part of its culture. Traditional athletes have a springboard for success with bursaries and governing bodies to give them support when they need it. “Athletes benefit from a lot of sports systems and governing bodies,” Team GB sprinter and former Olympian Adam Gemili explained during the eGames announcement. “A lot of them wouldn’t be where they are today without this support; what the eGames can do for gamers [can] only [be] positive.”
With the IEGC, those same projected benefits used for incubating talent can extend into the games industry, helping young gamers foster an interest in eSports on a professional level without having to make sacrifices in other areas due to outdated social stigmas.
As Gimili sums up, “No matter what it is you do, be it sprinting or gaming, everybody should be given the chance to excel at what they love.”