The event caused much controversy among Kyrgyzstan’s traditionalists for holding it at the National Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Esports is one of the most popular and rewarding phenomenon throughout the world. Hours of training, practice, enormous discipline, money and planning goes to be the best in the field; be it as an organizer, journalist or a player. Just like any other sport. Whereas traditional sports require physical stamina and prowess, esports require reflexes, strategies, quick thinking and decision making and stamina.
Yet we see a lot of people, many of whom are unfamiliar with the field, trolling it and saying that it is not a sport, even though many bodies, including Olympics, recognizes Mind Sports (chess, bridge). Something similar has happened in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan, on a larger scale. An official was fired for allowing Beeline, the Russian telecom company, to host a Dota 2 tournament at the National Opera and Ballet Theatre.
As reported by GlobalVoices.org (Via Yahoo Finance), the Director of the Theatre, Bolot Osmonov, was fired after “computer game-playing millennials” were allowed to “invade” the theatre to watch a tournament featuring Dota 2, a “violent multiplayer online battle arena game”.
The report said that for traditionalists in Kyrgyzstan, it was “sacrilege”, as the National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Bishkek is one of Kyrgyzstan’s most coveted cultural venue, built during the height of Soviet Union; nevermind the fact that though the theatre was suffering with financial difficulties, and the tournament brought in $300 an hour.
Tair Beshev, an Opera Soloist said:
“This is a place where great names, the sons and daughters of Kyrgyzstan performed, and now some terrible event, seemingly called ‘’Dota’’ is taking place here. Perhaps it’s me who has lost touch, or maybe it’s just some foolish generation that thinks this is acceptable. How did our government allow this?”
The Bishkek Opera and Ballet Theatre began in 1926. It has a similar architecture to that of the world famous Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia. In 1936, it was reorganized in Kyrgyz Musical theatre, and was awarded Order of Lenin, the highest civilian honor in the Soviet Union. Osmonov was fired less than two weeks after the event; his dismissal was signed by the Kyrgyz Prime Minister, Mukhametkhali Abylgaziyev himself.