Lima, Peru — Gamers from Peru’s male and female Dota 2 teams dominated the 2023 Pan American eSports Games in Santiago de Chile, securing gold medals in both categories.
The male team clinched the gold medal by defeating Argentina with a convincing 3-0 score, while the women also triumphed over Argentina with a score of 3-1. Dota 2 is a popular real-time strategy (RTS) video game that is part of the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre.
Francis Puppi, the Player Community Manager for the Peruvian Association of Electronic Sports and Video Games (APDEV), spoke with Peru Reports this week to explain the significance of this triumph in positioning Peru at the forefront of the global eSports stage.
“This is placing us as a strong country in the region, especially in Dota 2. Furthermore, the female victory is a significant step for inclusion within eSports,” he said.
According to the spokesman, the teams “had been training for some time.” He said, “They already had previous experience, knew each other well, and had a full understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.”
From November 2 to 4, the first-ever Pan American eSports Games were held in Chile, organized by the Global Esports Federation and Panam Sports. The event took place concurrently with the 2023 Pan American Games.
The competition not only featured Dota 2 but also eFootball (formerly known as PES), each with their respective male and female categories. The competition included 120 players from 25 countries across the Americas, including Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Cuba, and Peru.
The impact of this victory on the future of eSports in Peru
Puppi told Peru Reports that the PanAm victory “opens up a good opportunity to change the perception of eSports in our country, especially when referring to a ‘traditional’ audience unfamiliar with this environment.”
“The paradigms related to electronic sports have always existed in our country, and APDEV has worked since its foundation to progressively change them, especially by addressing the concerns and doubts that parents may have, especially if their children have a strong interest in being active participants,” he said.
In its “Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019-2023” report, PwC predicted Peru’s video game market would increase 20% annually, generating US$147 million by 2023. Region-wide, the consulting firm said the video games market in Latin America would grow 10% annually, reaching US$3.59 billion by 2023.
APDEV, an NGO dedicated to promoting the professionalization of electronic sports, inaugurated “In-Game” in late October, Peru’s first high-performance center for eSports. The space aims to discover emerging talents and support Peruvian professional players in various titles such as Dota 2, League of Legends, FIFA, Counter-Strike, among others.
Puppi explained that although the championship-winning Dota 2 teams couldn’t use the facility ahead of the Pan American games because it hadn’t been completed yet, the idea is for Peru to have a “favorable environment for the growth of elite players” from now on.
Currently, APDEV is finishing the implementation of “VIP zones” in In-Game, which, as Puppi explained, are “specially designed spaces for professional players with Core i9 processors and RTX 4080 graphics cards.”
“We are excited about the positive impact this high-performance center will have on our eSports community and look forward to seeing the next generation of stars flourish in this exciting field,” he added.