Matagi Snipers: Japan’s first senior citizen e-sports team

Japan: The Matagi Snipers is an Akira-based senior citizen professional e-sports team, comprising 8 members. They are aged 65 and above and are Japan’s first senior citizen pro e-sports team, and even having its very own sponsor.

The idea is certainly a unique one and came about for multiple reasons – one, the health benefits of gaming, and two, a way to impress and spend time with grandkids.

According to reports, 21 senior citizens applied to join the team but only 8 made the cut. The selection criterion was just skill in gaming, even if the hopefuls weren’t necessarily gamers.

67-year-old Eba has stated that playing games have helped her remain sharp in her advancing age, preventing cognitive impairment by allowing her to use her hands and eyes together. Furthermore, talking strategy with her teammates while playing has helped keep her mind acute as well. “Up until now, I never played video games,” she said.

The interesting thing of note here is that the Matagi Snipers are not the first senior citizen gaming team. Back in 2017, in Sweden, a team called Silver Snipers, sponsored by Lenovo, left quite a mark in the gaming world, with all its members being 60 and above. Moreover, last year, in 2020, Japan opened an e-sports facility for senior citizen gamers in Kobe, named ISR gamers.

What, however, is the point of this apart from the reasons mentioned above? Well, a very important one is that this shows inclusivity and allows senior citizens to also have points of relatability with the younger generation.

As it stands, the Matagi Snipers practice three times a week. This isn’t much by professional gamer standards, however, the ages of the members are also being kept in view. Plus, one must note that the younger pros won’t stay young forever, and this may prompt forming more senior-friendly tournaments and competitions.

The team will start streaming in October and will also be joining some tournaments.

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