The British government has announced the very first eGames, an event to take place every four years that will act as the eSports equivalent of the Olympic Games, and take place in the host countries of each Olympiad, including this year's in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
eGames will be a non-profit organisation which offers no prize money, but like the Olympics themselves will use national pride and the nature of competition to generate interest and draw in competitors. It will be organised with help from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The announcement was made at the eSports Summit hosted this morning (6 April) as part of the ongoing London Games Festival (via PCGamesN). The event will see nations – so far Brazil, Britain, USA and Canada – compete with their own "eTeams" and each nation has been advised by the IOC and UKIE (the UK's video game trade body) to created "advisory bodies" to oversee these eTeams.
The eGames website states: "The International eGames Committee (IEGC) will set up an International Advisory Board to assist in running the eGames and assist it with: instilling good governance, responsible gaming and ensuring the competition is inclusive and diverse."
During the announcement there was no reported mention of what games will or might be included in the eGames. There was also no mention of how it will be broadcast, or how they might overcome the problem of having no prize money. Sad a fact as it is, competitive gaming runs on prize money given how few competitors are paid in any other way.
Still, it's a noble effort and if successful could help propel eSports further into the mainstream. The best of luck to them.
Further details will be announced in April and May. The Rio eGames will begin on 4 August.