In an exclusive interview, the Rio de Janeiro City Hall Games and eSports coordinator, Chandy Teixeira, says "attracting large events to Rio is one of the pillars of the coordination” and that the City Hall of Rio has already started “conversations with leading global (eSports) competition developers".
eSports events and tourism
Responsible for developing and also for organizing the main eSports competition of one of the most popular games in the world, the League of Legends, Riot Games was approached by the report and claimed to have conversations with the City Hall of Rio: “Riot Games confirms contact with the Secretariat for Games and eSports of the city of Rio de Janeiro".
In addition to conversations with the developer of LoL, another game that has already brought results to the city, through its eSports championships, was the CS: GO. That's because in 2022 the city received the biggest eSports championship in the game, the IEM Rio Major 2022, organized by ESL and held at Riocentro and Jeunesse Arena.
In addition to the impact on the game, according to Nielsen data, the event generated 40 million dollars (about R$ 197 million) for the local economy. Much thanks to the fans and tourists who, according to the survey, spent around BRL 27 million on leisure and entertainment and BRL 54 million on accommodation.
It was so successful that the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) returned to Rio with another competition in April 2023, again held at the Jeunesse Arena, in Jacarepaguá. For the Rio de Janeiro City Hall Games and eSports coordinator, the tourist potential provided by the major eSports championships is high.
Like major music, entertainment and sporting events, eSports events are huge economic catalysts. They are responsible for bringing thousands of tourists to Rio. And even tourists with different interests than we are used to receive.Chandy Teixeira
The economic potential of the gamer market in Brazil has been increasingly relevant. According to PwC Brasil's Global Entertainment and Media Survey, total revenue from video games and eSports in Brazil in 2021 was US$1,4 billion and is expected to reach more than US$2,8 billion in 2026.
In addition to the marketing point of view, the Rio City Hall Games and eSports coordinator also highlighted the social side proposed by the coordination of the gamer scene in the city, through partnerships with projects and the development of social projects involving games and technology, such as the Knowledge Nave at Engenhão.
Rio has several social projects focused on the democratization of games and digital inclusion. AfroGames is a beautiful example in this regard. We understand that Arena Gamer will be an incredible device that will be available to the entire population of Rio de Janeiro, especially social projects that already have games in their DNA.Chandy Teixeira
Sought by the report, Rennan Costa, eSports coordinator at AfroGames, also spoke about the project.
We have the objective of attracting players from different favelas in Rio de Janeiro, where we want to give them the opportunity to appear on the national (games) scene [...] The State Government and the City Hall of Rio have been there since the beginning of the project, because the project is made possible by the tax incentive law, so they have been sponsoring the project since the beginning.Rennan Costa
Interview with Chandy Teixeira
Check out the full interview with Rio City Hall Games and eSports coordinator, Chandy Teixeira.
– The Games and eSports Coordination of the City of Rio de Janeiro is the first body focused on games in Brazil. To attract the big championships, has the coordination developed relationships of mutual interest with the big companies in the field? To what extent has the Secretariat of Tourism also been making efforts for the arrival of these events?
R: Attracting large events to Rio is one of the pillars of coordination. To achieve this goal, we have initiated conversations with leading global competition developers. And the first contacts have been excellent, after all, Rio already has a tradition of great sporting and cultural events.
– Is the inauguration of the Gamer Arena, scheduled for July, at the headquarters of Nave do Conhecimento in Engenhão, born with the aim of promoting courses so that young people can learn how to develop games? Or is the project aimed at democratizing entertainment, with the space functioning as a Lan House for gamers?
A: The Arena Gamer, in the Nave do Conhecimento at Engenhão, is a device that will have several functionalities. Much more than a space for practicing eSports, it is a window into the creative economy. There, we can democratize access to electronic games, foster new talent and create multiple opportunities that appear around competitions and sports teams. And here are endless new possibilities, in audiovisual, administrative, creative and, of course, sports.
Along with the Gamer Arena project, Engenhão's Knowledge Nave will have an incubation space for startups in the field of electronic games, where we intend to encourage the entire production chain that the sector currently offers.
– How has the coordination been moving to create partnerships between the city hall and social projects to disseminate access to games and, especially, technology in areas of greatest need in the municipality?
A: Rio has several social projects focused on the democratization of games and digital inclusion. AfroGames is a beautiful example in this regard. We understand that Arena Gamer will be an incredible device that will be available to the entire population of Rio de Janeiro, especially social projects that already have games in their DNA.
– In comparison, how does the City Hall see today that a large eSports event can yield results (economic and social) similar to large sporting events in the city?
A: Just like big music, entertainment, sports events, eSports events are great economic catalysts. They are responsible for bringing thousands of tourists to Rio. And even tourists with different interests than we are used to receive. In addition, Rio is a unique city that allows the gamer to be close to his passion and also enjoy the beauties known around the world.
– At the beginning of the year, before he was appointed as coordinator of Games and eSports, the minister of sports of the federal government, Ana Moser, said that eSports are not considered sports. What is the position of coordination within this debate?
A: Mayor Eduardo Paes has always been in favor of eSport. And Rio de Janeiro understands that it is a sport like any other. The creation of the coordination office is a clear indication of the importance that the City of Rio de Janeiro offers to the sector.
– Mayor Eduardo Paes has already demonstrated his desire to make Rio de Janeiro the innovation and technology capital of Latin America. What is the role of the City Hall Games and eSports Coordination in this process?
A: The gaming and eSports industry moves billions of dollars around the world. Recent surveys show that it is a very profitable market. These data consolidate the sector as a strategic pillar of the entire city that wants to position itself as a technological hub. Positioning itself in this area puts the city in line with the strategy proposed by Mayor Eduardo Paes.
When its creation was announced, in May 2022, the Coordination of Games and e-Sports showed, in a note, that among its objectives were “seeking returns for the Municipality in several areas such as tourism, tax collection, social development, education, entertainment, new careers and opportunities in the job market, as well as stimulating the entire games industry and the ecosystem".
Since Games and e-Sports coordination was created, the administrative unit of the Municipality of Rio was responsible for launching the first public Gamer Arena in Brazil, in the Nave do Conhecimento in Engenhão, with capacity for 100 people. In addition to investments like this, aimed at creative and social development linked to games, the Coordination also has the mission of promoting even more tourism in the city with events of eSports and with the lure of the gamer industry.
Text proofread by: Pedro Bomfim (23 / 08 / 23)