Tokyo, Jan. 25 (Jiji Press)–The number of companies utilizing esports events as a tool to deepen communication among employees is on the rise in Japan, with younger generations preferring such events to going on company trips or attending in-house sports festivals.

Esports are likely to draw attention as a new means to cultivate a company-wide sense of unity, analysts said.

Last year, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corp., a unit of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. , held a competition for the Winning Eleven soccer video game using smartphones for its employees. Some 1,800 group employees participated in qualifying rounds held online in September and October.

At the final knockout stage in the western Japan city of Osaka last month, the last eight competitors fought fierce battles, with a total of some 200 employees and family members gathering to enjoy watching the matches on the screen. “It was a heated competition,” one employee said.

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the realignment of the NTT group. As an anniversary event, some proposed holding a sports festival, but NTT West opted an esports event, expecting that it would attract more participants.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press

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