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Video game competition taking place during Olympics


08-18-2016 13:06 BJT

While the best athletes on the planet are for going head to head for gold medals at the Summer Games, a different kind of competition is also being played by some of the world's top video gamers. Rio is host to the first E-Games tournament, and just like in the Olympics, these electronic enthusiasts are looking to earn glory for themselves and the countries.

Inside the official British House at the Rio Olympics, another competition is underway. It's as keenly fought, and almost as keenly watched as the other games. Organizers say eSports is the phenomenon of our era.

"People talk about it being the biggest niche in the world. Last year the stats were 214 million people played eSports. The ways eSports work is you are playing different gaming titles so today was about Super Smash Bros which has its own following, and own participants," E-Game founder Chester King said.

The final-between the U.S. and Canada. The skill this involves should not be underestimated-decisions are being made here in a matter of milliseconds. In the end the Canadian won gold, and associated bragging rights.

Reporter: "How do you feel that this is being tied up with the Olympics

"It feels amazing it is not everyday you come to Rio just to play video games. It's amazing for me it's a good opportunity and I am happy to be here," E-Game champion Elliot Carroza-Oyarce said.

The organizers plan to hold an eGames every two years-after each summer and winter Olympics, possibly using Olympic infrastructure.

Organizers say the fact that this showcase event is taking place here in the British Olympic house is a sign that eSports are going mainstream.

"I think from a personal point of view the concern was that eSports was becoming a bit too much like poker and it was all about the money, and is that really inspiring children in the right way So by creating this event called eGames it is all about playing for their country and we want to create new national heroes," King said.

One thing is certain. These video game heroes believe that what we are seeing here is just a glimpse of what is to come.

"Eventually it is going to be on TV like non-stop. Just trust me it is growing right now and it's going to grow bigger and bigger," champion Elliot said.

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