You all may remember our article about the SHIBUYA eSPORTS EXPERIENCE that we posted some days ago, but instead of just talking about it, we actually went!
The event was held by the Shibuya Chapter of the Junior Chamber International Japan and Toppan Printing, Co., Ltd.
The event took place in front of the famous Hachiko statue in Shibuya. There was a bit of rain, but thankfully the even went on without a hitch! (Even with a typhoon in the forecast)
Let's get down to it!
SHIBUYA eSPORTS EXPERIENCE Opening Statements
First up is the opening word from Suzuki Daisuke, Chairman of the Shibuya Chapter or the Junior Chamber International Tokyo.
As part of the Shibuya esports Experience event, the final presentation of JCI Tokyo's "Chugakusei Shacho ni Narou Project" (Middle Schooler Company President Project) also took place at the event as a part of their MANABUYA series.
Next up was Kohata Hiroyuki, Vice Chairman of JCI Tokyo's Shibuya Chapter.
Kouhata is also working as director of Share Shibuya and is company president of D Succession Partners, Co., Ltd.
The day had started with rain, but luckily by the time the greetings had finished, the rain had reduced to less than a drizzle, reducing the need for an umbrella.
At first glance, the event doesn't seem to have a deep connection with esports, but the kids who take part in MANABUYA have the opportunity to learn about business and how to communicate their thoughts better. After learning about business, the kids can take what they know and experience the cutting edge business of esports.
More than anything, the people that will really expand tomorrow's business of esports are the children of today. When they grow up, esports will be booming, and they will be the ones to lead the pack, having a bigger effect than any adults today.
So that's what MANABUYA is doing. Combining middle schoolers, business, and esports.
MANABUYA Day Two! Business Presentations by Shibuya's Middle School Representatives
MANABUYA is a workshop that teaches middle schoolers about starting businesses, and from the 30 participants from MANABUYA Day One, a single team was chosen to present at MANABUYA Day Two, held in tandem with SHIBUYA eSPORTS EXPERIENCE.
"Let's Reduce Plastic Bottles!" was the theme of the presentation, which seemed to line up perfectly with one of the major topics being talked about at this year's G20 conference: reducing plastic waste.
The sight of these young students preparing so hard for their presentation was amazing. They not only spoke with confidence, but also had a great command of English and business vocabulary, showing the great potential of these students and what MANABUYA has going on.
After the presentation, up next was a discussion between the middle school students and the CEOs of three different startup companies.
And the companies are...
First up is the CEO from Migloss, Kaneko Koki, which states its management philosophy as "One Century, 25 Innovations", and giving exposure to local bars in Ueno with their "Baruru" service, along with their "Food Up Challenge" allowing people to experience upening and managing their own restaurant.
Migloss is currently located in a rental office space geared towards startups by Tokyu Real Estate called Plug and Play Shibuya powered by Tokyu Real Estate.
Second up was Marukawa Shoji, CEO of Nature Innovation Group, introducing their umbrella share service, Aikasa.
Rain at an outdoors event is usually the worst situation ever, but it definitely became great PR for Aikasa. Marukawa even said that today's weather was great (because of the rain).
Next up was no new folk studio's Kikukawa Yuya with their Smart Footwear brand, ORPHE.
Questioning the Pros
Without a moment to spare, the midleschoolers already started to attack the entrepreneurs with questions.
The entrpreneurs also make time to ask the middle schoolers questions as well. Not an experience that most people get on a daily basis!
The investors in the front row even said they would definitely have no problem investing in the projects of these middleschoolers.
MANABUYA DAY 2 ended with the middleschoolers getting a picture with the entrepreneurs and investors.
With that, now on to the Street Fighter V tournament!
Street Fighter V Arcade Edition Tournament
Now in B2F of the Shibuya Tsutaya, the Stree Fighter V tournaments is ready to start!
With monitors from BenQ, chairs from AKRacing, HORI arcade controllers, gamers gathered to take place in today's tournament.
Looking over the tournament area, we see the one and only Tajima, a server infrastructure eingeer at our group company, funglr Technology. With his own arcade controller, he actually seems a bit more focused that he ever does at work.
Maybe it's just our imagintion...
Seems like all the practice from typing up Linuxa commands seems to have helped him up his game! Or maybe it's the other way around?
Famous esports player Powell also sat in on the action, and any player who could win five matches in a row was able to get a chance to play against him. He's taking place in the panel discusion later on, but what could be the reason he's here now for? Maybe he's here to support the players... Or just simply scouting out the competition?!
Next up: Panel Discussion
Back at Hachiko, the esports Panel Discussion is beginning to start.
There had been some troule with the equipment, which cut down on time a little bit, but no one seemed to mind.
The audience welcomed each guest with applause, with popular esports commentator Shinichiroo as the presenter for the discussion.
The first guest was Ayano Tomoaki, who works at a producer for Capcom.
The second guest is Powell, who was watching the Street Fighter tournaments in Tsutaya. Also an esports player, Powell recieved his official pro license in April.
Third up is Furuzawa ____ from e-sports SQUARE, which is a venue specialized for esports, and Furuzawa also works with esport tounaments, leagues, and events.
The fourth and final guest to be introduce was Otomo Shingo, the leader of CyberZ's esports section and producer of RAGE, the company's very own esports cometition, which Saiga NAK was able to write an article about! The company also runs a livestreaming service called OPENREC.tv.
Finally was Kagesawa Junichi from NTT East Japan's esports section, who has recently been all the buzz in the esports world.
Let the panel begin!
As the panal starts, it's really interesting to see the guests talk, giving us different angles of esports from so many different points of view. The game creator, the pro gamer, the event planner, everyone has different views of the world or esports.
How does CyberZ attract so many people?
CyberZ held its first RAGE competition in 2015, and "in the last two years, the amount of spectators coming (to CyberZ) has increased," says Otomo.
"We're creating starts at RAGE, and we want to give those stars a trophy for all their efforts. We want to make a place where people feel proud to be. We've had this vision since we started the competition in 2015, and with it we've been able to expand so much," he adds.
Rather than saying RAGE has really worked to do great PR or really gather an audience, it would be more fitting to say that RAGE has created a sort of brand out of itself, and the fact that even people with no interest in esports know about RAGE shows that.
What does the forefront of esports look like?
According to Furukawa, there are many emails coming to the esports cafe that RIZeST is currently running, asking to work for the company, even saying they don't even need to be paid for the work they'll do.
Furusawa explained there is a lot of work related to esports, but in many cases, the fact that the job is related to esports isn't really understood, or the parents of applicants don't take time to appreciate the information about the position. Even with this being the case, the world of esports still has quite a demand for specialists.
"Doesn't matter what you want to do for work, just keep playing games."
So if there's so may types of jobs in esports, what should you to actually GET a job in esports?
"It's cause you know games that you can get a job in this industry. Maybe you're a cameraman, or maybe you can write scripts. Jusyt keep playing and enjoying games, and think about your future all at the same time. Especially middle and high schoolers," says Ayano from Capcom.
It make sense when you think about it. It's just like other sports. Just because you're not a player doesn't mean you don't have other options. There are tons of jobs available, especially if you can use your experience.
What does it take to become a Pro Gamer?
"What's the biggest difference from before, and after becoming a pro gamer?" was asked to Powell, in which he replied with, "I definitely started to pay attention to how much and in what way I practiced much more than before."
"It's not all fun and games," he added. "You really need to have determinaton about it all."
Sociability is Important
"There's a whole 'pro-scene' now." added Kagesawa. "After becoming pro, you're being watched more. You have to watch how you walk and talk, and really need to have responsibility for everything you do. You also have to get better at your gaming, but you also have to realize that the work you're doing now has you in the public eye a lot, so you need to be aware of that."
"I didn't have any kind consciousness about that kind of thing before I went pro," admitted Powell. "But my appearances in media have increased, so I really have made it a point ot be careful in how I present myself."
He said he even got a haircut for this event.
Each of the speakers agreed that in order for esports to become more recognized as a normal sport, players need to have more of a consciousness for society. Even with that said, the players that joined in today's tournament had extremely good manners, showing that even in the world of esports, the players are ready to be a bigger part of society.
A Panel for the Ages
The panel covered various topics, even what esports players have in common with other pro sports players. With the gloomy weather seeming to not bother anyone, the panel discussion ended well.
Street Fighter V Arcade Edition Tournament Comes to an End!
With the paanel discussion over, the Street Fighter tournament also enters its final stage, and people come back to watch at Tsutaya.
Public Viewing at Hachiko
A public viewing of the tournament was also available at Hachiko, along with the closing statements.
With that, the day comes to an end. With business savvy middle schoolers, startup CEOs and investors, along with big names in the esports industry and even an esports tournament at the Shibuya Tsutaya, the SHIBUYA eSPORTS EXPERIENCE is definitely a new breed of esports event, and we're looking forward to next time!