Malaysia entering major league of eSports
By Ajith Ram September 13, 2016
FOR a long time, eSports was dominated in Asia by South Korea. It is now becoming a global phenomenon and Malaysia is also now entering the big league. One of the major eSport tournaments planned for 2017 is the recently announced ESL One at Resorts World Genting. ESL is collaborating with Mineski, the eSports management company to organise the event.
DNA interviews Yap Chee Loong (pic), President of Mineski Events Team on the current state of eSports in Malaysia.
DNA: Please tell us about Mineski's origins and what the company does.
Yap: Mineski originated from the Philippines Dota team headed by Ronald Robins (Group CEO), co-founder Rick Robins , Dar Andrew Cayabyab and Kenchi Yap. Our company does everything related to eSports such as cyber cafes, event teams, eSports team management, eSports website news and much more. Our focus is the South-East Asia (SEA) region.
The idea of making a cybercafe sprouted when Ronald and his team did not have a decent enough environment for gaming and practice. It came at a point when the Mineski Dota team was dominating the Philippines scene. Ronald thought that this was bad for the development of the Philippines eSports scene.
At one point, all Dota tournaments barred them from joining tournaments because they were guaranteed to win. He decided to create the Mineski Events Team (MET) with his friends and teammates. Weird as it may sound, the tournament marshals were the Mineski players. This encouraged more amateur teams to join because the team they feared the most were not participants.
See the documentary on YouTube about the origins of MET.
MET has developed since then. They now host bigger events due to their passion for what they do. Without the people inside MET like Marlon Marcelo, the Director of Events for MET, we could not have reached what we are today.
What are the things that could go wrong while holding an eSports event?
Yap: An eSport event is very different from a normal concert or gathering event. It requires the event team to manage lots of technical issues ranging from the PC, networking, audio, lighting, screens and many more details that only gamers understand. That is why most eSports events use retired players and a manager to help them organise an event.
Even a small issue can delay the entire flow of the tournament. Issues such as mouse hang, keyboard keys not working and network lag. Professional tournaments need to provide a sound proof environment to the players. These are more challenging for low budget events.
How did your relationship with ESL come about?
Yap: ESL approached us due to our proven experience in executing small to large scale eSports events in SEA.
What is the current structure for the eSports event planned in Genting?
Yap: As all ESL One events, there will be teams that are directly invited as well as those who go through the qualifiers. Resorts World Genting is the title sponsor.
What are the features of a well-organised eSports event?
Yap: The event managers must be very familiar with the games. They must also be experts in PC troubleshooting and IT networking. The marketing department must understand eSports and the games. The organisers must also have a good understanding of entertainment itself.
What are your plans for Malaysia in 2017? Do you have any events already mapped out after the Genting one?
Yap: Our goal is to make Malaysia the mecca of eSports in SEA. We have multiple events planned out for 2017. However, it is a bit too early to reveal them. Stay tuned.
What is the current state of eSports in Malaysia compared to our neighbours?
Yap: I think eSports is still growing rapidly in Malaysia. I don't really have the time to focus exclusively on Malaysia as all my time is focused on our events in SEA. But I hope our events are some of the best out there.
Do you ever see any of the Asian countries catching up with South Korea for eSports?
Yap: I believe one day Malaysia can be right up there with South Korea for eSports.
Is it getting easier to attract sponsors for eSports in Malaysia?
Yap: I think the door has opened a bit, but like all industries, acquiring sponsors is a long and arduous process.
Which is the most popular eSport game in Malaysia this year?
Yap: Dota 2 is the most popular in Malaysia for now.
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