E-Sports of Cuba, Making its Way

E-Sports of Cuba, Making its Way
Fecha de publicación: 
31 August 2023
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The celebration in Ciudad Deportiva, a few months ago, of the first National Championship of Electronic Sports drew the attention of Cuban fans and made it possible to get to know to the general public what’s done in this field in the country.

The impact will surely increase during the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile, where these competitors will be part of the official delegation and will perform on dates and days similar to the conventional ones.

Javier Vidal, president of the Cuban Electronic Sports Association, which organizes tournaments in the country and elects representatives to international events, commented exclusively for CubaSí on what’s currently being done.

“We made the open call and they competed from their homes or facilities throughout the country, from there we selected the teams and they all came together at the University of Informatics Sciences (UCI for its acronym in Spanis), where they played the regional that won them a ticket to the Pan American Games. There will be played in two sports (eFootball and Dota 2), but four modalities, because each one competes with a mixed team and another exclusively female (five each), in addition to the individual ones in each sex. In other words, we currently have 12 athletes, 10 for teams and the two single competitors”.

—The Pan American Games will not be the only close event. Do you plan to make new preselections?

—In December in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, we’ll have the Global eSport Games (where we would add a competitor in Street Fighter), and in February 2024, the Kazan Games, which will have 16 disciplines that combine electronic and conventional sports, and in football or basketball, for example, the goals against the PC are added to those scored in the room, because it’s a single medal.

«In the latter case, we want to add athletes for Mortal Combat, and for that we are in contact with karate and taekwondo federations, because we consider that the best strategy is to attract a conventional athlete and familiarize him with the electronic one, and not the other way around.

"The idea is that they keep working with themselves at least until next year, because the dates are very close and it’s not convenient to carry out another selection process, but it’s good because those who were left out will be more motivated next time."

-Why exclusively female teams?

—In the case of women's, it’s done globally at the moment to promote the practice of women, but in the long run the competitions must be mixed.

-Do you see yourself in the Olympic Games?

—Recently, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) held the week of E-sports in Singapore, and at a certain time it may become part of the official program. It’s not yet certain that we are in Paris 2024, not even as an exhibition, but that is the future.

—What strategy do you have at the national level?

—We know these games are very popular and we want to create spaces to promote them. For example, next 15th, together with the local development project Mundo Virtual, they will open in El Castillito with a very broad social universe, which includes video games with a social and educational focus. We invite the residents of the capital and those nearby to attend because it will be a very good option for the summer, but it will continue for the rest of the year.

Regarding the latter, Vidal added that, in addition to serving the public, the national pre-selection could be located right there.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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