Esports in Trinidad and Tobago
What is esports? Put simply esports is competitive video gaming. Usually there are huge sums of monies involved in the big tournaments. There are even teams and leagues much like football and other big sports. Streaming platforms like Twitch bring the action to huge audiences.
Let me point to some of the things that are happening in Trinidad and the region in the esports space. Jamaica seems to be taking the lead and has been long standing in this space and there is the Jamaica eSports Initiative. According to their website they set out to engage youth by developing competitive video game skills, encouraging fair play, building team spirit and establishing Jamaica as a recognized member of the global esports community. Bahamas and Guadaloupe are also making moves. A memorandum of understanding had been signed between 12 Caribbean and Latin American Esports Federations to form the Caribbean Esports Federations Alliance in 2020. I have not found more than this MOU signing.
Sadly Trinidad and Tobago was not listed at that time. I have been told that Trinidad is now a member. I have found the Trinidad and Tobago Esports Federation on facebook and I sent them some questions.
FIFA and the Olympics are getting into esports. This is an opportunity for TTFA and TTOC to make sure that Trinidad and Tobago is not left behind. Governmental and private sector support needed to push esports and develop the space. In 2019 Newsday wrote an article titled "E-sports is growing in TT, and it's big business". In that article it was written that "He said in order for the local sector to grow, "there must be a mix of innovation by entrepreneurs, corporate strategy by brands, and the necessary quality of players."
I would say that locals can make a career out of esports. We are challenged by fields that are saturated and persons not being able to get jobs in those fields. Esports can also be a foreign exchange earner. It can also be an opportunity to advertise the country. Like everything there would be postives and negatives of esports. While gaming may be seen as contributing to obesity many game developers are developing games where you have to move and be physically active. Esports teaches team work, patience and socialising. Gamers have to watch out for gaming, sleep and mood disorders.