São Paulo Government Launches Esports Tournament

The government of the São Paulo state, Brazil, has launched its own esports tournament, the “São Paulo Jogos de e-Sports” (roughly translated as São Paulo Esports Games). It will be a championship for students from schools and universities of the São Paulo, featuring Garena’s Free Fire and EA SPORTS FIFA 21 competitions. 

The Secretary of Sports of the State of São Paulo Aildo Ferreira spoke to The Esports Observer about the event.

“The initiative came from the beginning of the current administration of the government of São Paulo through the secretary of sports of the state, which always dialogued, sought information, and looked for ways to enter the universe of electronic games. Finally, in 2020, [the sports secretary] decided not only to hold the first edition of the São Paulo Esports Games in 2021 but also to add the competition to its official calendar, alongside competitions such as the Open Games, [traditional sports competition] which has 85 years of existence and mandatory annual realization.”

With an investment of $420K BRL (roughly $77K USD) by the government, esports event company MVP Network will be in charge of the organization of the tournament after winning public bidding. Ferreira justifies this approach and the investment of the public administration to esports:

“The government of São Paulo understands that it is necessary to approach the innovations and novelties of the sport. Electronic games have a professional structure, relevant sponsorships, an increasing number of practitioners, confederations, and more and more engagement, especially for children and young people. The championship, therefore, is another way of bringing state management closer to people’s daily lives.”

According to the competition’s official rules on its website, the tournament also has among its objectives to “enable the identification of talents in educational institutions for the competitive state and national scenarios,” and to “promote the community spirit in students, stimulating the practice competitive and intra-institutional and inter-institutional integration.“

TEO asked for details of the use of the public investment in the tournament and received a list of features and structure that are to be expected, showing the organization plans a high-level esports event: broadcast studio, lighting, professional cameras, sound team and audio operators, transmission operators, artistic direction, broadcast direction, computer graphics operation, graphics within the transmission, coordination of spectator cameras, viewer cameras, product coordination, reconciliation between customer KPIs and transmission team, project coordination, league ops – championship administrators, chat moderators, narrators, commentators, analysts, talent coordination, marketing plan, creative concepts, social media, online media, social networks boost, sponsored links, advertisement pieces, video composition and editing, website, press office, producers, financial, executive producer, moderation professionals, legal materials, regulations.

The competition will be held throughout February and is open for any regularly enrolled student in an educational institution of São Paulo who is at least 14 years old. The slots are limited to 1,296 teams of Free Fire (with four players each) and 128 FIFA 21 players. The games will be held online, but a broadcast team will be streaming the matches live from the studios to the tournament’s official channels at Twitch, YouTube, and Garena’s platform BOOYAH!. Finals are set to be held on Feb. 28, but no prize pool is on the table.


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