First Phygital Games came to an end in Kazan. For three days, the participants were competing for the awards in such disciplines as digital football, digital basketball, Beat Saber and drone racing and showed the spectators how close to each other the real and virtual sports are.
To claim a victory in phygital football and basketball, the teams had to win a match of two parts: playing FIFA/NBA at the console and real 3×3 futsal/basketball by to the official rules.
Brazilian team Tamo Junto triumphed in the phygital football tournament. Under the leadership of the well-known player of the Amkal media league team Aleksey Gurkin, the South Americans first beat the guys from Fake Football in a penalty shoot-out, and then in a dramatic and very tough final they turned out stronger than the New Russian team from Ekaterinburg featuring experienced futsal players. Lokomotiv team from Moscow placed third.
“Phygital Games is something new and very exciting. Such games bring a new drive. It is no longer so interesting to be wrapped up in oneself – to play only either digital or on the football field. And when you first play FIFA, and then go out to the field of play, it’s a completely different thing. Completely different interest,” Lokomotiv’s captain Robert Fakhretdinov told.
One of the digital basketball favorites was the BC Minsk team with the players of the Belarusian national team on the team, but they missed medals, while the guys from the Moscow Take Shot team came first. In the final, they defeated Liga Pro by a slender majority (St. Petersburg).
“Such games can make those who have never played basketball get off the couch, and, the other way around, spark athletes interest in video games. On our way to Kazan, we didn’t know what to expect, but here we saw an amazing show. Anyone would want to participate in such a hustle!” Roman Derevyankin from Take Shot said.
Roman Konev won the Beat Saber competition, a popular virtual reality game that requires top physical condition and tests the athletes’ digital skills. Team Reactor pilots (Beloyarsk nuclear power plant) Ivan Boyarinov and Vladimir Kamkin became the best in drone racing.
Phygital Games were the first tournament in the run-up to the Games of Future scheduled for 2024 in Kazan. According to Igor Stolyarov, Games of Future project manager, this experience will definitely help the organizers in the future.
“We are very contented, the result surpassed expectations. We tested four disciplines, and I can say it is very unlikely that we will refuse any of them in the future. We will probably change the regulations, but first we will study the experience of the competitions. There was a lot of dramatic tension. The services are perfect. Kazan is the best city in the country, as I have already mentioned. Our partners helped us tremendously, and everything was organized to high standards. We will analyze the mistakes and draw the right conclusions.
I liked basketball the most – showy, dynamic, very dramatic, a lot of intrigue. Third-place match in phygital football may go down in the annals of history. When athletes who were underperforming in cyber took their toll in physical, it was amazing. This is what we implied in the ideology of the games themselves,” Igor Stolyarov shared his opinion about the Phygital Games.