Aiming to be “be looked up to by the grandchildren”

Aiming to be “be looked up to by the grandchildren” -「孫にも一目置かれる存在」を目指して

[Spotlight – April 2024 Issue]


MATAGI SNIPERS is Japan’s first senior professional esports team based in Akita Prefecture. Esports is a sporting competition in which players compete against each other using video games and online games. The team comprises 11 men and women with an average age of 67.


The term “matagi” refers to a group of hunters in the Tohoku and Hokkaido regions who hunt for a living using traditional methods. The team is named after the matagi culture that has taken root in Akita Prefecture, which is mountainous and rich.


Akita Prefecture, where the Matagi Snipers are based, has the highest rate of aging in Japan. The IT company that runs the team, S2 Corporation, started this project to dispel Akita’s image as an “aging” society and make the prefecture the most energetic prefecture in Japan regarding its elderly population. 


The members do not view esports merely as a means for dementia prevention or a pastime in their later years. Instead, they are aspiring to become professional players, adopting the slogan “a figure to be looked up to by the grandchildren.”


At the outset of their initiative, none of the members had any prior experience with e-sports. Furthermore, many had not even used a computer before, necessitating initial lessons on basic operations such as powering on the device. They underwent five and a half hours of training sessions weekly, and over three months, they progressed to the point where they could competently play the game.


Currently, they continue to practice for about 6-7 hours daily and also stream their gameplay on Twitch. In January this year, a video of them playing a shooting game went viral. Amidst a field dominated by players in their teens and twenties, their skilled play and victories have garnered significant attention and praise.



Text: SAWAGUCHI Natsuki


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