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  • Novara Capital Group

Videogames and Esports in the Canary Islands

From December 6 to 9 the TLP Tenerife Winter is celebrated at the Magma Arte & Congresos. With an average of one thousand visits, some of them are live competing, while others buy and interact with the latest trends in manga and cosplay. The event has different sections Lan Party, with users connected 24 hours at high-speed, the TLP Winter-Con, where the comic coexist with board games, workshops, the K-pop sale of "merchandising", the TLP Innova, which combines training and new technologies and the also popular TLP eSports with more than 15 thousand euros in prizes.

This time, the Asian culture has its representation with TLP Winter-Con, which will include new technologies and trends workshops, virtual reality, tournaments to all the public, areas of artists where they can show their creations, exhibition of stores, etc.

This event is also a space to advertise future programs that will be launched to teach and show to the youngest generations how to use video games in a more conscious way.

Worth mentioning that during one of the main conferences of the event we had the presence of the senior advisor in ZEC Canarias, Eva Sainero, who insisted on the tax incentives and advantages that already exist in the archipelago and which has the aim to promote the sector.

She mentioned that "the financing lines have just been opened in the Canary Islands for these types of projects where there is enormous potential. We are in an interesting geostrategic position due to our proximity to the African market and the proximity to Europe and America".

In fact, The Government of the Canary Islands maintains a strategy link to the development and implementation of the islands as a leading platform for electronic games. An agreement signed with the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) will make this to go one step further. The project is about the development of electronic sports synchronized with the Olympic values and the spreading of the guidelines that define the Olympic citizenship: participation, equal integration among competitors, mutual respect, companionship and the principles of effort and commitment that govern the Olympic sport.

At this point, it is worth highlighting how the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognizes the "strong growth" of eSports, and how these electronic sports can provide a compatible platform with the Olympic Movement. It also assumes that competition within eSports eventually, can be considered a sporting activity because players prepare and train with an intensity compared to the athletes of traditional sports.

In the last year, the regional government has openly expressed its willingness to address and regulate eSports as a sector with an undeniable economic potential, with space for innovation, but also with a significant social impact and, precisely for that reason, with a need for mentoring and education among the youngest generations.

The debate about the regulation of the digital space within Sports and the recognition of the eSports is open, due to they are an important activities in the social environment. At this point, the two clubs Unión Deportiva Las Palmas and Club Deportivo Tenerife have promoted their own eSports venues, with the creation of a school league in the centers of the Archipelago for the 2018/19 academic year. This is a project that the regional government has accompanied with the design and implementation of a pioneering educational plan with the presence of teachers and families: it is a project that educates teenagers about the digital environment, healthy lifestyle habits, equality, and sports values (values ​​that match with those that define the Olympic movement).

In this context, the Canarian universities have also joined the movement of the eSports as an unstoppable activity, which has developed the creation Canary gamers teams and, the preparation of research works that begin to evaluate the impact of the electronic sport on the islands, something which had never been done before.

In addition, the island councils have also begun to collaborate with the organization of activities related to eSports and, the large commercial spaces have also organized different competitions with remarkable participation. Even the Copa del Rey of Basketball (tournament), in its 2018 edition held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria organized a specific eSports event. La Copa del Rey is now aligned with large sports organizations that join the promotion of electronic sports teams and competitions.

In recent days, an event that shows the inclusion capacity of this sector is the creation of GC Liberty: an eSports team promoted by the Sports Club of the Deaf in Las Palmas (also open to the participation of listeners). It is the first created in Europe from a group of deaf people.

In conclusion, with the signing of this agreement, Canarias is now positioned as the first CCAA that addresses the eSports sector with a vision to the future, hand in hand with the COE.

All of this at a significant historical moment in this sector: the Olympic Museum of Lausanne (Switzerland) has inaugurated an eSports Forum promoted by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and, the International Olympic Committee creating a platform of collaboration and confluence between gamers and Olympism, marking the imminent evolution of electronic sport in the international framework.

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