The promoters of Malaga Tech Games / FRANCIS SILVA

Malaga Tech Games: the sports event that was born from a Tweet

The most prominent startups in Malaga will participate in a unique tournament that is set to bring together more than 600 professionals from the industry

ANTONIO JAVIER LÓPEZ

Professionals in Malaga's technology sector have launched a tournament to bring together some 600 participants in the city for the inaugural Malaga Tech Games, over the weekend of 7 and 8 May.

The initiative was launched by the founder of VirusTotal, Bernardo Quintero, less than six months ago through his profile on Twitter. Quintero challenged colleagues from other emerging technology-based companies (startups) in Malaga to organise a "startup Olympiad. And his call was answered by Joaquín Cuenca (Freepik), Luis Hernández (Uptodown) and Manu Heredia (BeSoccer) among others.

"I just wanted to have a game of football with Manu and Joaquín..." Quintero said this Wednesday, to the sound of laughter at the Malaga Tech Games presentation. "The idea came from our own teams and when we discussed it, it seemed like a very good idea, because we are all in different sectors of the Internet business and an event like this can be very enriching for everyone," said the founder of VirusTotal who is responsible for lighting the flame of this particular Olympiad.

Applications still open

Eight companies have answered the call so far and there is still room for a few more. As long as they are part of the Malaga tech scene they can send their application to malagatechgames@deporteyempresa.com.

So far Plytix, Verisk, Tupl, BeSoccer, Virustotal, Uptodown, Freepik and The Workshop are among the participants which will include: five-a-side football, 3x3 basketball, volleyball, darts, video games, paddle tennis, table tennis, swimming, water polo, chess and foosball. "The idea is not to compete but to get to know each other," said Kaajal Mansukhani, from the Freepik team. To which Miguel Pretel, from BeSoccer, replied, half jokingly, half seriously: "Hey... We're going to compete hard!"

"We are a group of friends doing what friends do”, added the director of BeSoccer. Malaga Tech Games aims to promote mixed teams. Not only with a mix of men and women but also employees of different companies.

"We want our employees to connect and form a community," said Paloma Simón, from VirusTotal, adding that there will be a paella to share on Sunday.

Another of the event's founders, the CEO of Freepik, Joaquín Cuenca, said during the presentation: “The respect we have for each other is well known, but there is also affection between us and a bond that goes beyond the professional sector”. Cuenca recalled how Freepik, Uptodown, BeSoccer or VirusTotal share a common path: "We were all born in the same manor, at the same time and from our own means, and together we have all managed to grow our projects."

The startup spirit

Emilio García of Verisk highlights the importance of these initiatives when “showing what is happening in Malaga.” Pablo Tapia from Tupl has spoken about how Malaga Tech Games show the “initiative” and “passion” behind ‘startups’.

The games also have Plytix among its founding members. Their founder, Álex López, shared in closing: “Activities like this help a lot to build community”.