Esports officially arrives in Japan, home of game giants

phys.org | 2/11/2018 | Staff
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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.

Japan - Game - Giants - Nintendo - Corp

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 - Event - Games - Sign - Recognition

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.

Money - Grabs - Tournaments - Sectors - Work

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).

Reason - Japan - Rest - World - Esports

One reason Japan fell behind the rest of the world in esports is that Japanese game fans tend to play solitary...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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