By Carlena Knight
An Antigua and Barbuda team will travel to Guadeloupe for the inaugural Giga Games Canoc Esports Series.
The ‘mini-Olympics of the Caribbean’, initially planned in 2021, starts today and runs until July 3.
Antigua Grammar School’s Glenmoore Fabian and Ottos Comprehensive School’s Dimetre Leitch will compete against 29 other Caribbean Olympic Associations in the regional event.
They will be accompanied by Elijah James as coach.
Esports – short for electronic sports – is a form of competition using video games.
Both Leitch and Fabian, who are 16 years old, will compete in several master disciplines -Tekken (Martial Arts versus Sport), WindJammers2 (Frisbee Sport), Forza Horizon 5 (Car Racing Sport) and Just Dance Unlimited (Health Sport).
James, while speaking to Observer on Tuesday, shared his confidence that the duo will have an impressive showing at the games.
He said competing in an event like this will help the youngsters forge bonds that will last a lifetime.
“I think that is one of the main things that I am really happy about. They are going to get a chance to be exposed to persons from all around the world, and basically help to show their skills, put Antigua and Barbuda on the map, and how we can compete with the best in the world,” James said.
It is for those reasons why James is encouraging youths to join the local Esports group at the Public Library.
“This has given our young people the chance to network and meet with each other. Some of them obviously don’t know each other and so, they come together and make new friends and they are literally collaborating to be able to create an opportunity for even more young people to become engaged,” James explained.
“The whole concept behind Esports is about helping young people to learn to work together, show them what opportunities are available for careers within STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics].
“It also provides opportunities because I think there are at least two or three students who have had the pleasure of getting scholarships and working on various programmes within the US Embassy since we started. So, if you are a person who wants to get involved then Esports is the place for you to be,” he added.
Antigua and Barbuda Esports is an initiative of the American Corner Antigua supported by the US Embassy Bridgetown that helps Antigua and Barbuda students aged 13 to 17 to explore emerging STEM technologies while helping to improve their personal and professional development.
Interested persons can become a part of the club by visiting www.antiguabarbudaesports.com and signing up free of charge with a parent’s consent.