National

Tokyo to host two-day esports event in fiscal 2019, Gov. Yuriko Koike says

Kyodo

Tokyo will host an esports event during fiscal 2019 to promote the capital’s video game and anime industries, Gov. Yuriko Koike said Sunday.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to set aside ¥50 million in the budget for the fiscal year, which starts in April, to hold the two-day event. The date and venue have yet to be decided.

“Esports involves many different industries, and the event will be an opportunity (for companies) to get some publicity,” Koike told reporters.

Already popular in many parts of the world including North America, Europe and China, esports has a global market worth an estimated $906 million, according to research firm Newzoo. The activity, which is often held in large arenas in front of thousands of spectators, was included as a demonstration sport at last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang.

It has also been gaining traction in Japan, where the Japan Esports Union, an industry body that sanctions official matches and helps develop talented gamers, was launched last year.

The organization is planning a tournament featuring the video game “Pro Evolution Soccer 2019” to coincide with the national sports festival to be held in Ibaraki Prefecture in October.