Esports is taking over the world and is increasingly becoming the most popular form of gaming in Southeast Asia.
One key event that could further cement esports’ popularity in the region is the upcoming 30th SEA Games to be held in the Philippines later this year. This is the first time that esports will be included in the regional competition. A total of 6 gold medal titles are up for grabs in the professional gaming category.
While there remain sceptics among the public, especially in Singapore, players and enthusiasts are expecting the upcoming professional competition to further swing the region’s opinion on esports.
Rise of Esports
The rise of esports in the Philippines has also inspired diversity. Today, CNN cites that there are roughly 30 million online gamers in the Philippines with almost half of them women. In addition, telecom giant Globe recently formed an all-female team to compete in the SEA Games called Haliya.
Mobile is king
The most defining aspect that catalysed the popularity of esports is mobile gaming. Venture Beat highlights that 51% of gaming revenue came from mobile gaming titles. While China remains the biggest spender and has the largest share of gamers in Asia, the southeast region is pulling close.
Shifting regulatory environment
Esports is also opening up the online gaming industries of many countries in Southeast Asia. Newzoo put Thailand as the 19th largest gaming market in over 100 countries. Esports is a fast-growing business in the country reaching a valuation of 22 billion baht (RM3.1 bn) last year. The country has over 27.5 million gamers.