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Japan has undertaken the challenge of creating an esports tournament for the disabled. The esports association of Gunma Prefecture is hosting the first-ever esports tournament for players with disabilities. The tournament will see four teams of five players battling it out in League of Legends on August 31 at a venue named Big Cube in Takasaki City, just north from Tokyo. The players will compete for a grand prize of ¥1,000,000 JPY, which is around $9,300 USD.

Onelife Inc. is the founder of the association. To help prepare players for this tournament, it has successfully created a training facility for disabled professionals, providing them with the necessary equipment for practice.

How is that possible?

For a game that demands lightning-fast reaction times and lots of mouse-clicking, it is extremely tough to imagine a person with serious physical impairments playing a game like League of Legends. For example, one of the contenders at the tournament, Ryuya Koshizuka, has muscular dystrophy. This disease causes weakness and or loss of muscle mass. Mr. Koshizuka is a quadriplegic, meaning that he is unable to control any of his four limbs. At this point, one would think it is impossible for him to compete in, let alone play, a video game.

Even so, 31-year-old Koshizuka has been provided with a special apparatus attached to his nose and mouth. This lets him play League of Legends with the use of breath. It’s definitely not an easy task, but certainly doable with enough practice. “It was hard to remember [how to play] at first but now I can use it,” Koshizuka said. “I hope to win at the tournament.”

Ryuya Koshizuka practicing for the first-ever esports tournament for the disabled with special equipment. Credit: Kyodonews

With such great care being provided to each player suffering from a different condition, it looks like all contenders will be ready to compete on August 31 in Takasaki City.

What do you think of such an initiative? Do you think it’s possible for disabled players to compete with the able-bodied in the future? Let us know down in the comments below! And as always, remember to follow us at Daily Esports for all your latest news in the esports world.