The road to SEA Games 2019 begins for the eSports Industry

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Esports Malaysia Association (ESM) are making final preparations for its state level qualifiers ahead of Malaysia’s much-anticipated first-ever appearance at the Southeast Asia Games 2019 (SEA Games 2019) in the Philippines.

Since its recognition as a medal sport in 2018 and, under the leadership of Dato’ Ananth S.Nathan, ESM have been working tirelessly to ensure that Malaysia produces a successful debut at the premier regional sporting event.

Five medals will be contested in esports and a single esports demonstration event will be held in the Philippines before the actual Games. All slot selections will be determined by ESM and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

“The inclusion of esports into the 30th edition of the SEA Games is a giant leap for the national body as well as our state associations and marks a major milestone in the expansion of esports here,” said Ananth, who assumed the reins of the ESM as the Acting President on February 11, 2019.

“The global gaming industry is projected to increase up to US$118 billion this year and the Asia Pacific territory, the largest growth area, is essentially driving the global industry. Malaysia’s export of gaming content increased 75% to RM80 million between 2014 and 2015.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2013 – 2017 report estimated that Malaysia’s gaming market would grow to RM868m in 2017. Clearly, this is an industry that has the capacity to significantly contribute to the nation’s economy,” Ananth, who is also the elected Deputy President of the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF), pointed out.

The Malaysian National Selection will be a nationwide esports player search to find the Malaysian representatives for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games 2019 in the Philippines. The Selections will be divided into 3 sections; State Qualifiers, National Grand Finals and Bootcamp. The format has been designed by ESM to provide maximum participation potential on all levels starting with the grassroots, and enhanced with the support of KBS and MSN by introducing the nation’s first esports development program via a boot camp. The official period of commencement for the Malaysian National Selection will start on the 15th March 2019 with the opening of registration and will continue until the Southeast Asian Games in December 2019.

The Malaysian National Selection State Qualifiers will be held in 2 formats; online and/or offline. Qualifier formats will be determined by respective state associations with the constant being in-game rulings and tournament formats to allow fair play throughout the state qualifiers. The group stage and part of the play-off qualifiers will be played online while the Grand Finals will be played on ground.

At present, ESM’s 16 state associations are in the midst of hosting state qualifiers to select the players for the five confirmed esports titles. These are Defense of the Ancients (DotA) 2, Starcraft II, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), Arena of Valor (AOV) and Tekken 7.

Players and/or teams will be allowed to register for multiple qualifiers with the exception that they have not secured a slot in the Malaysia National Selection Grand Finals. Participation is open to all Malaysian citizens from the age of 13 years old and above with parental consent needed for players under the age of 18.

Ananth is actively involved in raising standards in the national sports arena. His company Airmarine (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. developed the inaugural Airmarine Cup between March 20 and 23 and will present the tournament on an annual basis in collaboration with the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).

He views his involvement in sports as part of his contribution to the nation. His vision for the Airmarine Cup is for it to be a vital platform for homegrown players to attain international quality. He has the same vision for the esports players in Malaysia and the SEA Games 2019 is the start of the journey.

Selected teams and players will enter a boot camp and have a chance to play for Malaysia in the Games. Interested individuals are advised to visit here for more information.