Rio plays host eGames video game tournament

Rio de Janeiro is set to capitalise on this summer’s Olympic Games by hosting an eGames international video game tournament attended by thumbsmiths from the UK, Canada, Brazil and the USA.

The armchair battle will see gamers compete for medals and the satisfaction of being the best in the world at their chosen games.

Launched as part of the London Games Festival the new competition will be staged in the host cities of both summer and winter games going forward with future clashes set to be held in Pyeongchang in 2018 and Tokyo in 2020.

Outside of these years contestants will be drawn from a series of national qualifiers in which professional gamers will compete for the honour of representing their country.

Chester King, chief marketing officer for non-profit organisation the IEGC, said: "In line with other globally established sporting events, the eGames will be a medal only competition, with no prize money, but the opportunity to take home gold for your country."

Professional eSports have taken off in recent years with large audiences following expert players online and prize funds of £1m and more available to the best although such prizes will be absent from the eGames, with contestants competing for pride only.

At the launch the UK government announced that it would be sponsoring the Rio event.

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