Esports has a unique power to bring people together: Everyone is the same when represented by their virtual avatar in the server.
The International Esports Association will take advantage of that fact when they host an esports tournament for gamers with disabilities in South Korea.
The IeSA 2014 World Championship features traditional esports like League of Legends and StarCraft 2 as well as a number of other titles, such as Candy Crush Saga and Wii Sports. Over 200 people from 12 countries will participate in the event.
Gamers with physical handicaps are capable of doing amazing things. Michael Olson plays Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with no limbs. Alex Kostov, a muscular dystrophy victim, plays Minecraft with just his eyebrows.
This tournament should give these talented gamers another venue to show off what they can do. The tournament organizers believe esports can aid in rehabilitation and improve the quality of life of disabled gamers, providing a social and physical outlet many may lack through traditional venues.
This isn’t the first time Korea’s hosted an international esports event for gamers with disabilities. In 2011, the International E-Sports Meet for the Disabled awarded nearly $10,000 in prize money to gamers playing StarCraft 2, Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, and FIFA Online. The tournament will run Nov. 8-12 on Seungshin Women’s University.