The first Habana Rumble Electronic Sports Festival was held last weekend at Mundo Virtual. The local development project took place in the Cuban capital, where the island’s gamers will have the opportunity to prepare for upcoming international events, such as the Pan American E-sports Championship in Chile, the Global E-sports Games in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the Future Games in Kazan, Russia.
This Festival laid the foundations for the development of e-sports in the country with government alliances through the Union of Computer Scientists of Cuba, the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER) and the Cuban Olympic Committee.
Among the video game modalities brought to a championship format in the Habana Rumble was FIFA 2023, a game that already had the FIFA Coliseum tournament last April. In it, Sergio Pérez, from Sancti Spíritus, emerged as the winner and will be the first Cuban representative of an electronic sport in the Pan American E-sports Championship, which will be held in Santiago, Chile, within the framework of the 19th Continental Games.
However, Javier “ToXavieR” Vidal Hernández, president of the Electronic Sports Group of Cuba (ADEC), said that in this event a similar game will be in competition, the e-Football Open, in women’s and men’s modalities.
In the case of women, their selection was carried out through a qualifying tournament in collaboration with the Federation of University Students at the University of Havana; while national qualifiers were held to select the teams for Dota 2 Open and Dota 2 Women.
Habana Rumble also held a Street Fighter 6 tournament, a popular fighting video game, developed and published by Capcom and with which Cuba will compete — for the moment — with Alfredo “Mael-Bonchan” Osorio Bueno, in the Riyadh 2023 Global E-sports Games.
It is not the first time that Cuba qualifies for this event, coincidentally with “Mael-Bonchan” himself, however, it was not possible to attend in person the event, organized by the Global E-sports Federation.
That is why ADEC hopes that the alliances created with the highest sports representations on the island can overcome the difficulties presented in the past.
At the Habana Rumble tournaments of Super Smash Ultimate, Pokémon TCG, Mortal Kombat were held as well as other collateral activities such as Speedrun, Arcades, Just Dance, Cosplayers and expo sales.
As we already mentioned, the event was held in Mundo Virtual, an inclusive local development project located in the Castillito, in the Plaza de la Revolución municipality, which stands as a new opportunity in the advancement of electronic sports in Cuba.
By having an infrastructure and technology prepared to promote the development of video games, this location will host the preparation, at first, of the Cuban athletes who will compete in the Electronic Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
Likewise, as part of the alliances with ADEC, Mundo Virtual will be a space for the Cuban gamer community, longing for a place in which to integrate the recreational with the educational; they will be able to interact and participate in the training courses, with the presence of trainers, coaches, analysts and sports commentators.
The ADEC, according to its website, has as its main objective to provide Cuban players with tools and methods so that they can compete at the international level.
With this overlap, together with INDER and the Union of Computer Scientists of Cuba, a dream of many years has come true: to officially recognize the practice of E-sports and promote them.
Cuba is already leading the way in the world of electronic sports on an international scale. Habana Rumble and Mundo Virtual demonstrated the need to validate these spaces throughout the country on a constant basis.