Inaugural European Games Esports Championships supercharge esports
Katowice, Poland, July 3, 2023 – The inaugural European Games Esports Championships came to a close on Sunday at GEF_Arena, International Congress Center (MCK), in Katowice, with the first gold at the event won by the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain.
Paul J. Foster, CEO, Global Esports Federation, hailed another big step forward for esports and the Global Esports Federation.
“It is fantastic to have our #worldconnected community back together since the Global Esports Games in Istanbul last December; and to be in Katowice, one of the world’s headquarters for esports. It is super cool for our community to be here with 28 countries, and 100 athletes from across Europe.”
Celebrating electrifying wins at European Games Esports Championships
An unstoppable Netherlands side emerged victorious in the Rocket League (Open) tournament, clinching the title by overpowering a formidable Great Britain team with a commanding 4-0 scoreline to claim the gold.
“I love playing under the flag, wearing the Dutch uniform,” said Mike “Mikeboy” Verkuijlen after getting his trophy. “People were tuning in back home to watch, and they’re very proud of us and our achievement. We will celebrate with some Polish beer.”
Tim Holland added: “To be the first champions is really nice. Great Britain came with a really good team, they weren’t easy to beat.”
Italy’s skillful Giorgia “Giorgia tt_5” Casciaroli defeated Emma “Emzii” Rose of Great Britain 3-2 to emerge victorious from a thrilling eFootball™ (Women) final.
“I am feeling really excited, it is my first major achievement in international competition,” said Casciaroli. “I really like this style of event, with it being country against country. It means more than regular competition. It is way more exciting to be representing your country, you have a real responsibility.”
The event was concluded with Spain’s Miguel “M_Mestre_” Mestre Oltra playing some wonderful football on the way to defeating Türkiye’s Mucahit “Mucahit21” Sevimli 3-1, to grab gold in the eFootball™ (Open).
“I am really excited and really proud of myself. I put myself on the line, I made a lot of sacrifices to win this tournament, I am on cloud nine,” said Mestre. “To be representing your country and playing under your flag makes this a special tournament. I have won my first big title and it means a lot to me and Spain. A lot of people are supporting me back at home.”
After the Victory Ceremony at the GEF_Arena, the athletes traveled to Krakow to participate in the closing ceremony of the European Games.
European Games Esports Championships to accelerate esports recognition across Europe
After being declared open by the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, on Friday, and having received accolades from the President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), Spyros Capralos, the athletes of the #EGE23 believe that this event will help further legitimize esports in their countries.
“This tournament shows a new direction in esports, working along national lines, and becoming more like the other sports at the European Games,” said Paul Shepherd, coach of the Netherlands Rocket League team.
“People are getting used to it. It is a great step. It’s great that the Global Esports Federation has created this. We’ve seen Olympic committees from different countries get really interested, and governments are seeing that esports can be handled in the same way that they handle traditional sports. On the political side, this is a really important win for us.”
Emiliano Spinelli, Member Federation delegate for Italy, concurred. “This event will absolutely help to get esports recognized. We are working hard to get the Italian government to recognize it, and getting gold will help us do it.
“I have always said that it is not if, but when, esports will be recognized. This gives us some credit; I am very proud.”
Spain’s champion Mestre added: “I think it is coming soon. We have a great community, and this event will just lead to more support.”
“A successful weekend of #worldconnected energy”
“It has been an incredible June. We had the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore, then the GEF was with all the world’s Ministers of Sport at UNESCO’s MINEPS VII conference in Baku. Then we came here, to have the #EGE23 run in parallel with the third European Games. These are incredible milestones,” Paul added.
“These athletes are role models for their communities, and you can see our teams evolving, developing, and becoming more professional, organized, and confident.”
Most of all, it has been a successful weekend of #worldconnected energy. “For the Board, as ever, our favorite part of this has been chatting to the athletes,” said Paul. “Everyone has their story to tell. We’ve had people driving 17 hours to get here. People making tremendous sacrifices. That is powerful.”
About the Global Esports Federation
From our world headquarters in Singapore and strategic hubs around the world, the Global Esports Federation promotes the credibility, legitimacy, and prestige of esports. Powered by our universal values and Member Federations, we convene athletes, players, developers, publishers, community partners, and sporting organizations on one inclusive platform.
In addition to a prestigious global event portfolio, together with our strategic partners, we collaborate on a series of Global Social Impact Initiatives (GSII) to create positive social impact.
Inspired by our motto – #worldconnected – our mission calls for the development of tangible initiatives that are in service to the world’s esports community. www.globalesports.org