Many years on, competitive gaming has gone from being a scene to becoming a multi-billion-dollar industry, where the best at their game (pun intended) walk away with millions.
That’s how far video games and the e-sports arena have come; but where do we, Malaysia, stand in the grand scale of things? In conjunction with the Taiwan Excellence Esports Cup 2019 (TEEC 2019), I spoke to two prominent figures in the local scene – Muhammad ‘Flava’ Farouq and Tiffani ‘Babyoling’ Lim – to get their thoughts on the matter.
Speaking to Farouq about Malaysia’s position in the very lucrative e-sports industry, he believes that Malaysian e-sports has become big-game players in e-sports, recalling a time where he was the country’s only caster for Dota 2. Casting was very much a niche in the region too.
Tiffani, Head of Esports and Events at Battle Arena, agrees as well that there are stigmas associated with the industry due to its roots formed from our local cyber café culture. At the same time however, the same cyber café culture has bred a generation that enjoys competitive gaming – Tiffani cites old clan or turf wars as early forms of competitive gaming that has embed a competitive spirit in today’s Malaysian athletes (e-sports athletes that is).
From here, we also look forward to the SEA Games this year where e-sports will be included as one of the medal sports; and with this this, ESM serves to support the development of the sport in the country, to breed proper professionals, in preparation for occasions like the upcoming SEA Games.