Japan Esports Union is looking to propel esports into the Japanese video gaming scene by introducing a two day event sometime this year, as well as incorporating esports at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.
The Japan Esports Union (JESU) said that they are going to accelerate efforts to enhance recognition of competitive video gaming in the country. The JESU is an industry body that sanctions official matches, conducts research and promotes esports. They also help develop talented gamers who are looking at esports as a career path. The JESU was established in 2017 as the first esports body in Japan. The JESU have also mentioned that they are interested in bringing esports to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics summer games.
Bringing esports to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Summer games raises a concern for the IOC. The International Olympic Committee state that esports is “commercially driven. However, the argument for that is the participation of Major League Sports such as the NBA and MLB, who send players from the league to represent their countries.
The JESU chairman, Hideki Okamura said at a news conference in Tokyo,
“The popularity of esports has grown from last year to this year and we will push it to a new stage next year”.
As part of the JESU’s misson to develop talent, they are looking to send local players to international tournaments in order to get exposure in the esports scene.
“We think elevating the recognition of esports is one solution in making an approach to the International Olympic Committee or the Japanese Olympic Committee.” – Hideki Okamura
Tokyo to head two day Esports Event
Yuriko Koike, Govenor of Tokyo has stated that the city will host an esports event sometime this year. The goal would be to promote Tokyo’s game and anime industries. The Government will be looking to put 50 million YEN (aprox $460,000 US) for the two day event.
The date and venue have not been decided yet. Koike said to reporters that ““Esports involves many different industries, and the event will be an opportunity (for companies) to get some publicity.”
Esports has grown in many parts of the world, specifically in China, Europe and North America. The global market worth is estimated at $906 million dollars according to Newzoo, a research firm. Japan will be looking to be part of the continued growth of esports worldwide.
The JESU (Japan Esports Union) has picked Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 as the video game featured in the tournament. Their plan is to possibly have the two-day esports event at the same time as the Ibaraki Prefecture sports festival. With the JESU making headlines all over Japan, they have already started getting their main message out.
Read more about the JESU here.