Brazil is home to some of the world’s most passionate and skilled Esports athletes. But, it is also home to the favelas – sprawling, deprived areas often controlled by gangs. So, how have the favelas become an unlikely source of hope for Esports in Brazil?
Favelas esports is unlikely source hope
When many people think of the favelas, they think of violence, drugs and poverty. However, the favelas are also home to some of Brazil’s most talented Esports athletes. These athletes come from all walks of life, but they share one thing in common – their passion for gaming.
In a country where opportunities are limited, Esports provides a way for talented young people to make a name for themselves and earn a living doing something they love. In recent years, we have seen several Brazilian Esports athletes emerge from the favelas to become international stars.
While the journey to the top is not easy, it is clear that Esports can offer a way out of poverty for talented young people living in the favelas. For many of these athletes, Esports provides an opportunity to change their lives and create a better future for themselves and their families.
What are favelas?
Favelas are built by the poor, for the poor. They are literally sculpted out of the hillsides of Brazilian cities using whatever materials are at hand – scraps of wood, cinder blocks, metal sheets, tin cans. There is no running water or electricity, and only the most minimal public services. Even in Rio de Janeiro, one of Brazil’s wealthiest cities, an estimated one million people live in favelas.
The conditions in favelas are so dire that it’s hard to imagine how anyone could find hope there. Yet hope is precisely what has emerged from these communities in the form of Esports.
What is Esports?
Esports is a form of competitive gaming that is played by professional gamers. These gamers compete in online or offline tournaments for prizes, and typically play video games such as “Counter-Strike,” “League of Legends” and “Dota 2.” The Esports industry has seen a rapid growth in recent years, with the global Esports market expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2020.
While the majority of Esports players are based in North America and Europe, the industry is quickly gaining popularity in other parts of the world, including Brazil. In fact, Brazil is home to some of the best “League of Legends” players in the world, with many of them coming from favelas.
For those unfamiliar, favelas are communities in Brazil that are typically associated with poverty and crime. However, Favelas have also been an unlikely source of hope for many professional gamers. This is because favelas typically have very high levels of internet access and computer literacy, which has allowed many young people to develop their gaming skills.
In addition, favelas often have tight-knit community structures that can support aspiring professional gamers. For example, “League of Legends” player Marlon Saraujo (aka Leko) grew up in a favela in Rio de Janeiro. When he started playing competitively, he was supported by his friends and family who would help him practise and improve his skills.
Leko is now one of the best “League of Legends” players in Brazil and has even competed at the international level. He is just one example of how favelas can be an unlikely source of hope for aspiring professional gamers.
How are favelas an unlikely source of hope for Esports?
With the growth of Esports, many gamers are now looking to favelas as an unlikely source of hope for the future of the industry. In a recent article, NPR interviewed several professional gamers who have moved to Rio de Janeiro’s favelas in order to pursue their careers.
The article highlights how Brazil’s love for gaming, combined with the country’s growing economic inequality, has created a perfect storm for the rise of Esports in the favelas. For many young people living in poverty, gaming offers a way to escape their reality and earn a living doing something they love.
While there are some concerns about the industry’s ability to sustain itself long-term, there is no doubt that Esports is providing an opportunity for people from all walks of life to pursue their dreams. With any luck, the favelas will become a breeding ground for the next generation of professional gamers.