The meaning of eSports

Euro Sports charter defines All forms of physical activity which, aimed at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels. (Shutterstock)
Updated 19 July 2019

The meaning of eSports

JEDDAH: Are eSports really a part of the sport world?

There has been a huge debate on the topic, but today the answer from many industry experts, sports organizations and dictionaries is yes.

The Euro Sports charter under the Council of Europe provides the following definition: “All forms of physical activity which, through casual or organized participation, (are) aimed at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels.” If we look at every aspect of the definition, we find that eSports fit. Some might argue that the phrases “physical activity” and “aimed at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being” exclude eSports. Yet on the contrary those terms prove that they are indeed sports.

Stamina

The text clearly states all forms of physical activity and not only extreme physical activity. For any eSports player to compete, they would need a very high level of stamina, just like any motor or air sport athlete. To reach and win world class or even national level competitions, they would need to build staggering levels of stamina.

As far as the phrase “aimed at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being” goes: We look at sporting activities such as darts, golf, and snooker. All of these sports do not have physical fitness as their end goal, but to excel at them an athlete has to, to some degree, ensure that they are physically fit. Additionally, there is no argument around the necessity of mental well-being needed for eSports athletes to be title contenders.

Just like any sport there are those who would make a career out of it.

In Saudi Arabia we have the FIFA  eWorld Cup 2018 champion Mosaad Al-Dossary. He is the latest addition to the multitude of world champions to emerge from the Kingdom in recent years.

“The world as we know it is changing at a fast pace, faster than some of us can keep up with,” Al-Dossary said. “We live in an extraordinary age of connectivity, that is digitally enabled. Every day we are introduced to new concepts that some might reject at first but end up changing the entire way we exist or view life.’’

“No one knew how much the iPod or Instagram would affect our lives when they were first introduced. Even the careers that people now live off could have not been thought off 10 or 15 years ago. After all, as recently as 2008 almost no one knew what a ‘social media manager’ was. Less than 15 years ago no one even knew what a ‘search engine optimization manager’ did.”

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia was one of the early supporters of eSports thanks to the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS), which gives tremendous support to such athletes. It has sponsored multiple teams in global tournaments such as ISFE and FIFA eNations Cup.

It has also organized a professional eSports league for FIFA and is working on including other games.

For more information on gaming, and eSports in Saudi Arabia, visit SAFEIS website: https://www.safeis.sa/, subscribe to the YouTube channel, follow on Twitter: @SAFEISKSA , and on Instagram: SAFEIS.KSA


Saudi showjumpers ride for places in Tokyo Olympics team

Updated 16 December 2019

Saudi showjumpers ride for places in Tokyo Olympics team

  • International exposure key to Saudi riders’ success: Equestrian federation chief
  •  Visitors enjoyed a fun and exciting atmosphere as riders gave their best performances on the field

RIYADH: Saudi showjumpers at this month’s Diriyah Equestrian Festival aren’t just riding to win — they are battling for places at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, the country’s equestrian chief said on Sunday.

“Saudi riders’ participation in international championships is very important,” said Prince Abdullah bin Fahd bin Abdullah, president of the Saudi Equestrian Federation.

“Coming in contact with international riders will provide them with what they need to achieve their ambitions, which we all know are very big. That is why Saudi riders always have remarkable presence on the international level — hard competitors to beat, like the young rider Waleed Al-Ghamdi, who came second in the first stage of the competition.

“We are waiting for the results of this championship to draft the program for the Tokyo Olympics. We have a good chance at winning but, in this sport one can never be sure until the end of the stage. We will always be sure of the self-confidence our riders have, which will be felt as they represent the Kingdom in any competition,” he added.

Prince Abdullah expressed his happiness at the start of the first stage of the International Show Jumping Championship as part of the Diriyah Equestrian Festival

“The success is due to God, the support the sport has from the wise leadership of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority (GSA)," he said

The festival — which concludes next weekend, Dec. 19-21 — is taking place at Al-Duhami Farm, the equestrian arena built by Saudi Olympic legend Ramzy Al-Duhami and his wife Sara Baban.

In addition to showjumping, the attractions include art and photography exhibitions, cultural activities and a range of cafes and restaurants.

Visitors enjoyed a fun and exciting atmosphere as riders gave their best performances on the field, showcasing their skills and talents.

Diriyah has always been a symbol of authenticity and culture, while entertainment came with its international sports activities characterized by their sophistication, strength and diversity.

Mohammed Al-Mudayfar, owner of the artistic incubator “Resin Art” taking part in the activities, said: “The exhibition aims at highlighting the Kingdom’s identity in line with the festival’s. By participating, I seek to revive the Kingdom’s culture and introduce it to the visitors.

'Resin Art' exhibition is part of the activities lined up during the two-week Diriyah Equestrian Festival. (Photo/Supplied)

“The exhibition includes 60 Saudi artworks. They received huge support so they can showcase them in a suitable manner, in line with this year’s fun and exciting activities,” he added, noting: “Featured handicrafts, paintings and sculptures are all up for sale.  

“We provide the necessary space and materials for any artist that wishes to showcase his work. Supporting young Saudis and talented ones in particular is a national duty that society should sense its importance especially when it is related to our heritage and traditions.”

The activities area had a part dedicated to kids that has educational and entertainment activities such as painting horse heads made of cork.

Another exhibition called “Objectives” managed by 24-year-old Lama Al-Thubaiti offered visitors a variety of jewelry and accessories that could be modified according to their requests. Al-Thubaiti works as a doctor for people with hearing disabilities and has been working to develop her brand for five years now.

“We are very happy with the visitors’ reaction and our presence here is remarkable as we get ready to open our headquarters soon,” she said.  

The activities area also featured a wide range of restaurants, Saudi and international cafes, a photography corner and cultural facilities such as Arabian and historic horse exhibition, engraving, henna and local artists.

Diriyah Equestrian Festival is taking place for the second year in a row to bring the international event to the Kingdom, reflect the traditional values of equestrianism according to European standards. The event will run for two weeks, providing participants with the chance to qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the World Championship.