Road to SEA Games 2019 begins for e-sports industry

  • This is Malaysia’s first appearance in the e-sports category
  • Five medals will be contested; one demonstration event will be held


Road to SEA Games 2019 begins for e-sports industry


ESPORTS Malaysia Association (ESM) are making final preparations for its state level qualifiers ahead of Malaysia’s 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 Ananth S Nathan, ESM have been working to ensure that Malaysia produces a successful debut at the regional sporting event.

Five medals will be contested in e-sports and a single e-sports 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 e-sports 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 Feb 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 US$19.57 million (RM80 million) between 2014 and 2015.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2013 – 2017 report estimated that Malaysia’s gaming market would grow to US$212.29 million (RM868 million) 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 e-sports player search to find the Malaysian representatives for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games 2019 in the Philippines.

The Selections will be divided into three 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 e-sports development programme via a boot camp.

The official period of commencement for the Malaysian National Selection started on March 15, 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 two 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 e-sports 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 and above with parental consent needed for players under the age of 18.

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 for more information.


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