eSports Gold Medalist Invited to be Part of 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Sochi The Paynes February 8, 2014 The constant growth and perseverance of electronic sports, and professional video gaming over the years has finally gained the recognition of not only the big leagues, but the International Olympic Committee. This year’s 2014 opening ceremony included performers, athletes, and those of notably high stature, plus one person in particular whom I’d like to highlight: Alan Enileev, Former World Champion Professional Gamer in The Fast and the Furious EA racing game series, and Gold Medalist at the 2006 World Cyber Games (WCG) in Monza, Milan, Italy. Coincidentally enough, a city most famous for it it’s grand prix racing. A native of the Moscow area of Russia, Alan possessed a passion for racing, but since it was an incredibly expensive hobby, he turned to racing games. His skill level on the console eventually landed him a spot on the pro-circuit where he went on to win at the WCG Championships in 2006, and took home a bronze medal in 2007, earning him the unofficial title as “The best known virtual car racing driver in Russia.” After his two WCG Championships, Alan went on to follow his dream of racing on the track, helped to form a racing team, and is supporting research and care for children with cancer. As for his involvement in eSports, Alan co-founded, and advocates for NLKS, the National League of Computer Sports, which was launched in 2013, and continues to gain momentum in 2014. The NLKS’s aim is to hold gaming events, sports, musical activities, and charity events to help underprivileged youth. On his blog, after the Olympics, Alan talks about how he’s ‘just a commoner’ who never would have, in his wildest dreams, expected to be invited to such a prestigious event. He expresses great excitement, and blogs of how grateful, and in awe he was feeling when he got the call to represent Russia in the bearing of the Olympic flag at the opening ceremony. We’ve been seeing a trend in the global growth of electronic sports and online gaming, and it’s only going upward. This representation at the Olympics is a major breakthrough for esports players, leagues, and fans, and hopefully, it’s a good sign of things to come. Photo credits: RIA Novosti, Alan Enileev Share This With The World!