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Esports officially arrives in Japan, home of game giants

George Miller

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Esports officially arrives in Japan
Reading Time: 3 minutes

A crowd cheers, banging on balloons, in front of glitzy stages, each with a giant screen. The rising stars at the sprawling Makuhari Messe hall are the quietly seated men in hoodies and T-shirts, with names like Noppi and Refresh, jiggling on buttons and grimacing at screens.

Esports has officially arrived in Japan.

Although Japan is home to video game giants like Nintendo Corp., Sony Corp. and Bandai Namco, massive game fans as well as individual star game players, it’s surprisingly behind the rest of the world in esports — professional game-playing recognized as a sport that’s vibrant in the U.S. and Europe.

But with talk that elite computer gaming may become an official Olympic sport, Japan is determined to catch up.

Esports has become a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games, a sign that mainstream recognition is growing. Global esports fans are estimated to number 500 million by 2020, according to game-market researcher Newzoo.

Japan Esports Union, or JESU, was launched Feb. 1 to promote esports, issue licenses to professional players in Japan, standardize rules and qualifications and support and nurture future players. The union has won the backing of Japan’s game software makers as well as technology companies, such as video-sharing niconico.

That means big money can be legally up for grabs at tournaments, expected to spring up here, with powerful sectors at work to make sure esports is booming in Japan.

Game Party Japan 2018, at Makuhari, in the Tokyo suburb of Chiba, began Saturday and continues through Sunday as the first esports event after JESU was set up. The biggest cash prize goes to the winner of mobile game Monster Strike at 8 million yen ($73,000).

One reason Japan fell behind the rest of the world in esports is that Japanese game fans tend to play solitary games, like role-playing games, in contrast to the contest-style games that thrive in esports in the rest of the world, said JESU Vice President Hirokazu Hamamura.

But the appeal of watching esports is much like regular sports, such as soccer or baseball, Hamamura and other advocates say.

It’s the story that is there,” he said.

Leopold Chung, an official with the International Esports Federation, or IeSF, which promotes esports, was at the weekend event to meet with JESU officials.

Chung said that anti-doping requirements, legal help with contracts and the protection of retired players are crucial. He believes esports holds potential for places like Africa because of the ability of digital technology to bring down borders.

Because of the technology, our communities are connected,” he said.

Even esports believers acknowledge hurdles remain before “Call of Duty” can become as culturally mainstream as the 100-meter dash. Such violent games would be out at the Olympics, for one. And the Olympics’ nonprofit banner may conflict with the commercial nature of video games, they say.

It’s a great alternative for children rather than watching TV all the time,” said Chester King, chief executive of British Esports Association and eGames, who is leading the push for esports to become a legitimate sport

“It’s like chess. You never get a parent saying to a child ‘you’re playing too much chess,'” he added, stressing that video games are good for mental fitness.

At the esports finals of “Street Fighter,” winner and star player Itabashi Zangief posed before cameras and received a trophy and cash prize, after smashing his opponent in a dazzling knockout on the screen.

I played a good game, but I need to work harder,” he told the crowd.

Akihito Sato, a 28-year-old salesman, who was watching, said the appeal of esports is how quickly the satisfaction comes, unlike other spectator sports.

When a match gets close, it’s so exciting to watch,” said Sato. “But it’s over in something like three minutes. It’s instant.”

 

Source: abcnews.go.com

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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NBA 2K League Announces Tencent As League’s First Distribution Partner In China

George Miller

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NBA 2K League Announces Tencent As League’s First Distribution Partner In China
Photo Source: medium.com
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The NBA 2K League today announced Tencent Holdings Limited as the league’s first distribution partner in China.  Tencent, a leading provider of comprehensive Internet services in China, will stream condensed 2019 NBA 2K League Playoff and Finals games to its hundreds of millions of daily users across Tencent Sports, Tencent Video and Tencent News.

Tencent’s coverage will include select, condensed 2019 NBA 2K League Playoff games and all 2019 NBA 2K League Finals games.  The 2019 NBA 2K League Playoffs will tip off Wednesday, July 24, with the best-of-three quarterfinals and semifinals taking place over three days of gameplay.  The playoffs will culminate with the best-of-five 2019 NBA 2K League Finals on Saturday, August 3.

“Today is another incredible step forward in the NBA 2K League continuing to grow as a global league,” said NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue.  “Tencent is the ideal partner to distribute our games and bring the excitement of the NBA 2K League to fans in China, and this partnership illustrates the popularity of esports and interest in the NBA 2K League among its hundreds of millions of daily users.”

“The NBA 2K League is a world-famous professional esports league,” said Tencent Sports General Manager Ewell Zhao.  “Tencent Sports hopes the NBA 2K League will provide a new way to bring the charm of basketball and sports to more people.”

The seven NBA 2K League teams with the best regular-season records and the winner of THE TICKET powered by AT&T – Warriors Gaming Squad – are guaranteed playoff spots.  All regular-season and playoff games take place at the NBA 2K League Studio Powered by Intel in Long Island City, New York.

In April, the NBA 2K League announced that throughout the 2019 season, YouTube is simulcasting all NBA 2K League games livestreamed on the league’s Twitch Channel, and distributing highlights and additional video-on-demand content on the official NBA 2K League YouTube Channel.

 

About the NBA 2K League:
The NBA 2K League, a professional esports league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO), launched in 2018 and features the best NBA 2K players in the world.  Each of the league’s 21 teams features six players who compete as unique characters in 5-on-5 play against the other teams in a mix of regular-season games, tournaments and playoffs.  Knicks Gaming won the first-ever NBA 2K League Finals on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018.  The league’s second season takes place from April-August 2019.  NBA 2K League partners include AT&T, Champion Athleticwear, Dell, Facebook, HyperX, Intel, New Era, Raynor Gaming, SCUF Gaming, Snickers and Stance.  All NBA 2K League games are livestreamed on the league’s Twitch and YouTube Channels.  For more information about the NBA 2K League, visit NBA2KLeague.com.

 

About Tencent:

Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, and founded in 1998, Tencent is an internet-based technology and cultural enterprise. Tencent’s mission is to “improve the quality of life through internet value-added services”. Guided by its “user oriented” business philosophy, Tencent achieves its mission via the delivery of integrated internet solutions to over 1 billion netizens.

An industry leader and global pioneer of innovative, digital-based technology solutions, Tencent aims to provide platforms and services that connect everything. Through the company’s two principal business operations, “social platforms” and “digital content”, Tencent develops and delivers game-changing products, such as social communication platforms “Weixin/WeChat” and “QQ”, that connect people with services, foster closer relationships and create new business opportunities. From comics, videos, games and animation to music, literature, films and news, Tencent offers an incredible array of first-class digital content and multi-media services, providing entertainment and cultural enrichment to over 1 billion users across the globe. Tencent also provides cutting-edge financial technology and seamless mobile payment solutions that are helping support the development of smart cities, smart transport and smart retail.

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COA Urges PAGCOR to Consider Closing Casino Filipino-Manila to Prevent Further Losses

Niji Narayan

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COA Urges PAGCOR to Consider Closing Casino Filipino-Manila to Prevent Further Losses
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The Commission on Audit (COA) has expressed its concern over the P2.113 billion aggregate net losses incurred by the Casino Filipino Manila Bay of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

COA has noted serious lapses in PAGCOR’s implementation of the school building project dubbed “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid Aralan,” noting that 457 classrooms financed through a P714.496 donation by the firm have not been completed.

“Aggregate net losses of P2.113 billion incurred by CF (Casino Filipino) Manila Bay for five consecutive years cast doubt on its ability to continue as a going concern and the said condition was not disclosed in the Notes to Financial Statement (FS) as required,” COA stated in 2018 annual audit report for PAGCOR.

The Casino Filipino-Manila Bay has not been earning profit for a five year period, from 2014 to 2018, COA revealed.

“As presented in Table 9, the existence of adverse financial conditions for five consecutive years of the CF-Manila Bay casts doubt on its ability to operate as a going concern,” COA said.

COA urged PAGCOR to “devise realistic development plans and strategies to generate sufficient funds” or consider closure of the CF-Manila Bay to “avert continuous losses.”

Reacting to the COA’s observation, the PAGCOR management blamed “disintegration of the income-generating satellites from CF-Pavilion, opening of competing integrated resorts and gradual reduction in the number of table games and slot machines” for the deficit.

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Asia

NagaCorp Shares the Details of Naga 3 Expansion Plan

Niji Narayan

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NagaCorp Shares the Details of Naga 3 Expansion Plan
Photo Source: travelweekly-asia.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

NagaCorp, the largest hospitality and gambling group in Cambodia, has shared the details around its $3.5 billion Naga 3 expansion plan.

Naga 3 project is set to deliver greater gaming and non-gaming spaces, comprising of amenities and facilities including high-tech virtual reality interactive indoor theme parks, more shopping, and MICE facilities and family recreational areas.

The project will also consist of five distinct hotel towers. In its latest filing, NagaCorp said that Towers 1 and 4 will be a 45 story building inclusive of an 11 story podium, and 2 stories set for VIP gaming, restaurant and clubs. Towers 2 and 3 will be a 66 story building inclusive of an 11 story podium, while Tower 5 will be a 48 story building inclusive of the ground floor. Once completed, Naga3 will offer 4720 rooms across the five hotel towers.

“The Company expects that NagaWorld will be the largest riverine integrated resort in the Mekong Region, further enhancing the Company’s position as an integrated gaming and entertainment resort powerhouse in Asia,” the company said in a statement.

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