Once one of the richest countries in the world, Venezuela is well past its glory days. The deep economic crisis that’s been going on for a long time now has cast a large shadow over the country that had once enjoyed the prosperity ensured primarily by its rich oil reserves.
Today, people of Venezuela are struggling to make the ends meet. An average citizen makes just around $25 a month, which is far from enough to make a decent living. Economic hardships and the lack of hope drive people out of the country, sending them on a journey to look for their fortunes elsewhere around the globe.
eSports Making an Unlikely Breakthrough
It isn’t just the country’s economy that makes living in Venezuela difficult. Entertainment options are very limited as well since those available are usually out of the locals’ price range and the overall situation is a deterrent for foreign artists and performers who aren’t particularly keen to put Venezuela on their tours’ maps.
In the midst of all this, however, one popular trend has found its place in the struggling country and is seemingly succeeding against all odds – eSports. This global phenomenon has managed to enter Venezuelan society and has been steadily growing over the years.
A Perfect Alternative
Not surprisingly, children and youth in the education system of Venezuela don’t have access to many extracurricular activities. Those rare schools that can afford such activities usually only have one or two sports teams, combined with another activity like a theater or a choir.
There are, of course, private sports and training activities but these are, once again, out of the price range of an average worker in the country who struggles to make ends meet as it is, without these additional expenditures.
So, video games have entered the scene as a viable and affordable entertainment alternative for people of different backgrounds and age brackets. A number of internet cafes and arcades exist in the countries, gathering people interested in competing in the most popular eSports titles such as League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
eSports in Venezuela: Not Just an Entertainment
The reality of the current situation with eSports in Venezuela is that these arcades do help keep the kids off the streets and offer them something to do with their time in a social environment.
However, there is more to it than that, especially in a part of the world where making extra income is absolutely crucial.
Although there are some professional players in the country, the eSports scene in Venezuela is still not nearly as established as that of their South American neighbors like Brazil or Mexico. There are a few eSports organizations, with Capibara E-sports standing out as the largest and most successful one.
But, many others still manage to squeeze profit out of the industry even if they don’t play on a competitive level. Many players in Venezuela spend time playing from home, building up their accounts and then selling them online for a decent profit. According to their experiences, there are many players from other countries interested in buying these boosted accounts at a good price.
So, overall, while the Venezuelan eSports scene may still be developing, it is clearly one of the more advanced segments in the otherwise struggling country. The entertainment combined with an opportunity to make a profit makes eSports a perfect alternative for young people looking to hold onto something. It is always hard to say what future holds but based on what we’re seeing right now, it seems eSports are in an excellent position to continue growing in Venezuela and become a real country-wide phenomenon despite all adversities.