Kazakhstan or Tajikistan could host next Games of the Future – TASS

Kazakhstan or Tajikistan could host next Games of the Future – TASS

The Games of the Future will now be held annually and will be hosted by different countries, the head of the event, Igor Stolyarov, has said

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The Games of the Future will take place again in 2025 and will be hosted by a country other than Russia, the head of the phygital tournament Igor Stolyarov told TASS on Monday. The inaugural event is currently taking place in the Russian city of Kazan.

The international competition, which combines esports and physical disciplines, officially kicked off on February 21 and is set to run until March 3. More than 2,000 athletes are competing in the Games this year, representing countries such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. 

According to Stolyarov, this year’s event in Kazan is only the beginning, as he revealed that the Games of the Future “will definitely take place” in 2025, and will “definitely be held on the territory of another country.”

“We will hold them once a year,” he told TASS, but did not give any hints as to who the next host country might be, suggesting only that people should “follow the news.”

As noted by the outlet, however, two possible candidates are Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, whose presidents Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Shavkat Merziyoyev announced their desire to host the tournament in the coming years while attending the opening ceremony of the Games in Kazan.

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The groundwork for the Games of the Future was originally laid in 2021 by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chrnishenko, who announced plans to create an international esports competition. In 2022, the idea was approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who signed an official decree to hold the international multi-sports tournament in the city of Kazan in 2024 “to support the movement to develop innovative sports that combine digital technologies and physical activity.”

In February of last year, Russia’s Ministry of Sports also officially recognized “phygital sports” – a combination of activities in both the physical and digital domains – as a legitimate sporting discipline and established the Russian Federation of Phygital Sports (VFFS).

This year’s total prize fund is $10 million across all 21 disciplines, all of which combine classic sports and esports or augmented/virtual reality technologies. 

These disciplines have been separated into five categories dubbed “challenges.” They include “Sports” – a combination of classic games like football and hockey with their digital analogues; and “Tactics” – a combination of popular first-person shooter games like Counter Strike with real life laser tag.

There is also “Strategy” – competitions in popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) and strategy games which are supplemented with a series of trials testing the participants’ endurance; and “Speedrun” – which combines popular video game speedruns with a a series of endurance tests; as well as “Technical” – where participants compete in drone racing, robot battles and other VR competitions.