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Lagos drums support for e-sports

The Chairman, Lagos State E-sports Association (LSEA), Emmanuel Oyelakin, on Friday said that the state was intensifying efforts at promoting the game at the grassroots level, especially, among  secondary school students.

Oyelakin gave the brief on grassroots development of the newly introduced e-sports in Lagos State and in the country in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

NAN reports that e-sports, short for electronic sports, is a form of competition using video games. E-sports often takes the form of organised, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players and individuals.

Most of the games on e-sports are replicas of traditional games and sports but it can only be played with a limited number of active players, ranging from two to four players.

Oyelakin said that the Federal Government had recognised e-sports, after a pronouncement by the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.

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“Lagos will continue to put its money where its mouth is. Lagos has done much in encouraging E-sports at the grassroots level in the state.

“ We have received a lot of support from the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) in the past years.

“Lagos State E-sports Association (LSEA) is the only approved association of E-sports in Nigeria today. Right now, we are not covering Lagos alone; we have contributions from outside Lagos. We want to get the best from the grassroots.

“LSEA is now a member of the African E-sports Association, the equivalent of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and International E-sports Federation, the global body on E-sports.

“In November last year, Lagos took some athletes  to attend the International E-sports World Championships in Israel with the support of LSSC. This year, we will also be going to Indonesia,” he said.

Oyelakin said e-sports should be encouraged among children due to their dexterity on computers.

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“E-sports as a virtual version of all the traditional games should be something the parents should encourage their children to participate in because of its huge potential.

“Just like clubs sign on football players, an E-sports player also enjoys same benefits that can earn him or her some income. We already have people who are professional E-sports players in other climes and they are doing well.

“There are so many opportunities in e-sports, spanning from players to administrators, technical supports, content providers and others.

“We have most of our children who are talented in digital technology, so their energies can be made us of positively because it is their terrain,” he said.

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According to Oyelakin, e-sports is worth billion dollars, adding that it gives more opportunities to children to focus more on their studies without getting distracted.

“Though e-sports is new in Nigeria, globally, it is a huge investment area worth over a billion dollars. It is an area we are launching fresh with Lagos in the lead.

“It is time for us to expose our children to e-sports and encourage them to horn their skills. We have e-sports education to show people the opportunities.

“We are into partnerships with international bodies such as the Japan-based Totori Sports for the promotion and the development of e-Sports in the country,” he said.

The Chairman of LSSC, Sola Aiyepeku, noted that the commission would continue to lend support to e-sports, adding that it is the future of sports development in Nigeria.

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