The UK government has thrown its hat into the eSports arena, announcing the formation of a not-for-profit company and a tournament to take place in the Olympic arena in Rio this year.
Unveiled at the London Games Festival this week, the International eGames Committee's inaugral event is to be 'the eGames
,' a tournament taking place in Rio's Olympic arenas pitting nations' best gamers against each other - but, interestingly, for medals alone, with no prize money at stake. The not-for-profit IEGC has, the group's chief marketing officer Chester King claimed, been set up 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.
'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,
' claimed Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey during the announcement. 'I welcome the ambitions of the IEGC and their efforts to promote the UK as a leading nation in the eSports sector.
Nations confirmed as taking part in the tournament include Britain, Canada, Brazil, and USA, with more expected to follow in short order. Each 'eTeam
' is made up of gamers above the age of 18, and following the Rio launch additional 'eGames
' have been confirmed as following each Olympic proper, including South Korea in 2018 and Japan in 2020. During non-Olympic years, qualifiers will be held domestically to choose participants for each nation.
More information is available on the official website