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UK government announces launch of global eGames tournament

Wed 6 Apr 2016

eSports arena

The British government has announced it will be supporting an Olympics-style international eGames tournament, which will take place every four years in the host country of the current Olympiad.

eGames, the first of which will be held this August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will be a non-profit organisation and will offer medals in place of cash prizes, promising opportunities for national pride and sporting spirit to attract competitors.

The eSports tournament will be organised in association with the official International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Today’s announcement was made at the eSports Summit during the London Games Festival. According to the organisation, eGames has already drawn interest from countries including Brazil, Great Britain, the U.S. and Canada. The IOC and the Ukie (the UK Interactive Entertainment trade body) have advised that these nations create ‘advisory bodies’ to oversee their ‘eTeams’.

The eGames websites notes: ‘The International eGames Committee (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.’

Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey commented: ‘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. I welcome the ambitions of the IEGC and their efforts to promote the UK as a leading nation in the eSports sector.’

While little detail was revealed regarding the gaming content, broadcasting and the lack of prize fund, more information is due to be released over the coming weeks. Offering no prize money could present a challenge for the Games in such a competitive sector used to seeing enormous prize funds and crowdfunding interest.

Last week, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba announced the launch of the world’s highest-paying eSports series, with a total prize pool of approx. £3.8 million. The AliSports World Electronic Sport Games (WESG), with finals held in Shanghai this December, is holding 1,2000 events this year across 15 cities in China – a country home to over 100 million eSports fans and 440 million gamers.

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