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Gamescon takes gaming up a notch

Published: 
Thursday, August 27, 2015

Leja Angelove

Like most gamers, Kevin Le Platte had his beginnings with a Nintendo 64. Eventually upgrading to the PlayStation 2 and 3, he noted, “After that I didn’t bother getting anymore gaming consoles because computer gaming is the best for me!” If you name it, he’s probably conquered or at the very least, played. Laughing, he revealed, “My parents used to call me an addict, but I thought I was being professional by dedicating my hours training—because I felt like I was training for something big.”

The idea of establishing the E Sports Caribbean League began when Kevin attended a gaming event in November 2013, at One Woodbrook Place, late last year. It was here, he met his business partner—and formed an official team geared towards making their dream to bring professional competitive gaming to the Caribbean.

No stranger to the stereotype of gamers, Kevin wishes to change the public view of video gaming, from fun and games to an Electronic Sport (E-sport) in which one can pursue a viable career path as a professional athlete/gamer. As a knowledgeable member of the gaming community, Kevin noted, “One of the biggest challenges we face is that gaming is looked at as just a hobby—especially to parents who think video games are generally a waste of time—they believe you’re not learning anything and it’s not helping you in a future career. We may have our own perceptions in T&T, but internationally, gaming is a professional and lucrative industry where you can literally play video games as a career and earn a salary every month on a national team.”

With sponsors like Movietowne, livecube and Republic Bank supporting their modern business, Gamescon 2015 will be hosted at The Teaching Learning Complex, UWI St Augustine—and is ECSL’s fourth event. Featuring ten gaming tournaments inclusive of Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution and Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, Gamescon 2015 also hosts a cosplay competition—all with huge prizes to be won! Providing a chance for all gamers, they have catered to it all; from console and PC gaming to fighting and adventure games. 

Kevin said, “One of our biggest challenges has been acquiring sponsors. It’s coming very slowly, but I hope to see that change in due time because while nobody has really approached us and said hey, we like what you’re doing—when we approached Slam 100.5FM—they did, and gave us the support we needed.”

The ESCL has hosted three gaming events prior to this. The first got four teams, their second, six teams—but their third, got twelve teams—and this is where the ESCL decided to branch out into varying tournaments. Kevin said, “We didn’t want to limit ourselves to Leagues of Legends tournaments when we’re trying to establish a company that promote electronic sports.”

Another struggle for the gaming community is the presence of many gaming associations who keep to themselves. According to Kevin, “It’s all been a competition… I don’t think we have all come together as one to form any sort of real association to represent our country or ourselves to a governmental body in order to become an official sport. I honestly think that we only have a chance of making a change if we unite together to increase the awareness and professionalism of video gaming.” Despite these challenges, Kevin maintains that, “It’s difficult to remain neutral and avoid getting one anyone’s wrong side, but unity is priceless.”

The first of its kind event promises a gaming experience even for non-gamers. 

Gamescon 2015 will host performances from local bands to entertain the public. Tickets cost $50 and are selling out.

More info

To register your team for a tournament, please visit http://www.esportscaribbean.com or check their Facebook page @ESportzCaribLtd for details.

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