- Global growth of eSports validates academy’s timeliness
- Multiple career opportunities available in eGames space
THE Academy of Esports (AOES) in Iskandar Malaysia was officially opened for registration from asipiring gamers and game enthusiasts on Aug 17. The eSports education institute offers certification-level education in the form of programmes on gaming techniques as well as soft skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, strategic planning, teamwork, conflict management and communication skills.
AEOS is backed by Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB), the strategic developer of the development corridor Iskandar Malaysia, which is located in the Malaysia’s southern-most state of Johor and neighbours Singapore. Though it is the first such academy in Iskandar Malaysia, it is the second in Malaysia; the country’s first is the APU eSports Malaysia Academy in Asia Pacific University launched in February this year.
IIB president and chief executive officer Khairil Anwar Ahmad said that as IIB is driving destination branding for Iskandar Puteri, a newly-developed planned township in Iskandar Malaysia with more focus on the younger generation, eSports is a good avenue to engage potential consumers.
“The academy and eSports in general is a good venture for us. Besides that, it’s also great to help young people get their dreams to fruition while creating a buzz around Iskandar Malaysia and eSports,” he said.
He added that as Iskandar Malaysia has been a champion of education from the time it was established – education has been identified as a key sector for development because of its great potential to drive economic growth – backing the eSports academy is a natural step for IIB and the corridor.
“As a strategic developer, IIB has always been a catalyst for change and we always try to ensure value creation for the people in Iskandar Malaysia. Establishing AOES is our first step in positioning Iskandar Puteri as the eSports hub of Southeast Asia. The idea of a full-fledged eSports academy at which local talents to be discovered, polished and trained is certainly an idea whose time has come,” said Iskandar Development Management Services chief operating officer Akmal Ahmad.
Akmal pointed out some exciting developments in the eSports space that clearly show the global growth of the eSports market and participation in eSports. The Olympic Council of Asia has added eSports as a demonstration game at the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games to be held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, this September, and to the official programmes of the 2018 and 2022 Asian Games. Earlier this month, the Paris Olympic bid committee announced that it will consider eSports for inclusion as a medal event in the 2014 Olympic Games.
“MDEC is pleased Malaysia is establishing a facility uniquely for gamers as this is in-line with MDEC’s goal of making Malaysia a regional hub for eGames. Esports is undeniable a growing industry and AOES will aid tremendously in providing gamers with a solid future career in eSports,” said vice president of MDEC’s Creative Content and Technologies Division Hasnul Hadi Samsudin.
MDEC has been championing eGames development in Malaysia for about three years, recognising that it is a great driver of the country’s digital economy. Hasnul said that in those three years, MDEC has been concentrating more on the development and commercialisation of eGames but is ready and willing to support eSports.
“The reality is that the energy and passion in this industry lies with gamers and eSports. There’s a lot of promise out there. What we need to do is band together and push eSports further,” he said, adding that academies like AOES is how Malaysia can build credibility in terms of being a true hub of eSports champions.
Dota 2 Training Bootcamp
AEOS will kick-off its programmes with a one-week free Dota 2 Training Bootcamp from Oct 9 to Dec 23 before its other programmes open in January next year. The bootcamp will act as a prelude to the training routines of professional Dota 2 players that potential students can expect at the academy.
AEOS principal Kieran Lam said that the bootcamp will give participants a taste of the experience students will get from AEOS programmes in terms of learning insights, inspiration, advice and tools, all crucial elements that will improve their chances of winning in their next tournament.
FThe bootcamp will be overseen by reputable coaches Wilson ‘ShenGG’ Quak, Muhammad ‘Groov’ Yusuf and Lam himself, who goes by ‘ZergRush’ in the gaming space.
AEOS offers programmes that are endorsed and recognised by experienced players and coaches. According to Lam, the academy serves as a great platform for eSports enthusiasts to launch their careers from, and there are various pathways their careers can take beyond just being professional gamers.
“There are multiple career opportunities in this industry. An eSports athlete doesn’t just have to be an athlete, they can be a coach, analyst or streamer. There is events management where you can be a tournament host or part of the production crew,” he said.
AEOS is supported by the Iskandar Malaysia education hub EduCity, telco giant Celcom and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Other partners are Logitech, Omen by HP and Warlord, who are professional gaming rigs and equipment, Mudah,my as the official gaming marketplace, Livescape as the organiser and eGG Network as the official broadcaster.
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