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100 esports athletes from 28 countries compete in first-ever European Games Esports Championships

European eFootball™ 2023 and Rocket League athletes thrilled to line up alongside traditional sports

The inaugural European Games Esports Championships welcomes 100 esports athletes from 28 countries across Europe, competing in two top esports titles – eFootball™ 2023 and Rocket League, at the International Congress Center (MCK), in the city of Katowice, Poland.

The esports athletes are competing in parallel with the 7,000 athletes representing 48 countries at the third edition of the European Games in Kraków and the Małopolska region of Poland.

The event will contribute to the increasing credibility of esports, which was included in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games last year. The athletes themselves could not be more excited.

“I’m so proud to represent the Netherlands, to be part of something so big,” said Yos INDOMINATOR Sonneveld, 29, who is a professional eFootballer for Arsenal FC in England.

“It’s really amazing that we will be in the same area as the best Dutch sports players from all the major sports. It is something I could have never imagined a couple of years back when gaming was seen more as a hobby. To play professionally, and now to play Europe-wide, is truly amazing.

“To have the chance to win for your country, maybe hear your anthem and see the flag fly, for competing in eFootball, is so exciting. I hope I have the qualities to win the competition, I hope I will have the sharpness.”

Great Britain’s Cerith Dennis, 19, who won a bronze medal at the event run by the Global Esports Federation at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Commonwealth Esports Championships, also can’t wait.

“To be part of a multisport event is another step for esports as a whole,” he said. “Esports has grown large amounts in the past few years, but the next step was going more mainstream. Events like the Commonwealth and then this is the next step.

Winning bronze at the Commonwealth was “surreal” he added. “I can’t really process it. That’s huge for esports as a whole and for me as an individual.

“It was crazy, I went back to college the following year, September and random people were walking up to me and were like ‘congrats on the bronze medals at the Commonwealth’. For this event, I am aiming for top-four, top-eight at least. Hopefully we can get a medal.”

Great Britain’s Emma ‘Emzii’ Rose, who won gold at the Commonwealth Esports Championships in the Open eFootball category, is also aiming for glory. “I’m a Commonwealth gold medallist and I’m now representing Team GB at the European Games (sic). I don’t know, can life get better? It can, I could win,” she said.

“My entire life has just completely changed from a year ago and it’s phenomenal. It’s been such a ride.”

Rose is a trans woman and is grateful for the support she has received from the gaming community and the Global Esports Federation. “Being a competitor, everyone I have met on the professional side of things, we all just want each other to do well,” she said.

“There is no, ‘Oh we don’t want you to do well because you were born a male, you are not a woman’. We all support each other. We all have each other’s back. The opportunities I have had on the back of gaming are insane and I know a lot of other girls are in a similar position to me.

“I think I can be a role model in terms of someone who is being unapologetically themselves and standing up for what they believe in. I honestly can’t thank the GEF enough and British Esports and everyone I have met on my journey for accepting me for me and letting me go and do what I want to do.

“It’s why I am still here, why I am still competing, to show more people and to show more girls and more LGBTQ communities and under-represented communities that they are welcome in gaming. Gaming is for everyone.”


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