The Japan eSports Union (JeSU) announced recently that they are working together with the Asia eSports Federation (AESF) to hold a ‘Japan vs Asia’s finest’ eSports Challenge Cup in 2019. The announcement came in the midst of a progress report on how JeSU and Japan are faring in this competitive field. [Thanks, 4Gamer!]
The games played for this competition will be Winning Eleven 2019, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Street Fighter V Arcade Edition, and Tekken 7. JeSU will be deciding who gets to play for the Japanese side, while the Asian side players will be chosen by AESF. 15 million yen has been sponsored as the prize for the tournament by JeSU’s sponsors, including new sponsor Bic Camera. The event will take place on January 26-27, 2019, as part of the Japan Amusement Expo 2019 being held alongside Niconico Tokaigi 2019.
JeSU Vice President Kouichi Hamamura talked a bit about Japan’s aspirations for eSports regarding this tournament: “In an international competition like this where Japanese representatives carry the weight of the country’s hopes to compete against other global greats, each competition for each IP will provide a different sort of tension and fired-up feeling. This is something Japan has not gotten a chance to experience up until now, so we’d like people to experience this atmosphere.”
JeSU also went over some facts regarding growth in eSports in the year since the organization’s inception. 127 players have received pro licenses, one Junior License has been approved, and eight teams have gotten team licenses. These recognized players have gone on to compete in 34 different competitions over recognized titles like Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Puzzle & Dragons, Puyo Puyo, and Rainbow Six: Siege. (You can read more about licenses in our previous report here.)
Japan has also seen a rise in tournaments, such as the ones held during TGS 2018, as well as Japan’s first entry into the International eSports Federation’s eSports World Championship 2018.
With Japan officially joining the IESF, this means that Japan now has a lot more international tournaments it can send players to, helping boost its eSports development more than ever.