Esports is a form of competition using video games, often organised with multiplayer video games with professional players competing either in teams or individually.
The main genres of video games played during esports competitions are multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), first-person shooter (FPS), fighting, card, battle royale and real-time strategy (RTS).
Some examples of popular games played during competitions are League of Legends, Counter-Strike, World of Warcraft and Overwatch.
The popularity of esports saw a surge when online streaming platforms such as YouTube and Twitch became more accessible.
It’s no surprise when many youths are interested in becoming the next esports star, as even a moderately good gamer could rake in up to a six-figure income and brand endorsements.
Worldwide tournaments can have up to millions in prize money, which is typically split between the players in the winning teams.
Dota 2’s annual world championship broke the record for esports prize pools for nine years in a row, offering its winners a whopping $34.3 million in 2019.
According to statistics from Newzoo, Malaysia’s 20.1 million gamers spent $673 million in 2019. This makes the country one of the most lucrative markets in Southeast Asia.
In Sarawak, esports is quickly catching on with the establishment of Sarawak Esports Association (SESA) in 2018.
The association aims to foster future Sarawakian talents, to increase awareness of esports, to provide expertise, and to advise competitive gamers.
Aspiring competitive gamers now have the opportunity to learn from more skillful players, as SESA provides support in grooming quality local players who can represent Sarawak at national and international levels.
The association focuses on grassroots level of esports and intends to help educate the masses on what esports stands for and its benefits.
In August 2020, the framework for esports is being laid out with the setting up of the SESA Mini Esports Hub at D-Virtual Park in Kota Samarahan.
This esports hub is equipped with 60 gaming computers, six streaming rooms and other rooms for conferences and discussions.
The esports facility was built in tandem with the development of Sarawak’s digital economy, with the intention of spurring on the esports industry in the State and creating more job opportunities.
October last year saw the kick-off of the biggest esports online tournament in Borneo, MyBorneo E-Force Invitational 2020, held at the Esports Mini Hub.
The tournament saw an overwhelming amount of 3,000 participants registering in just two days after it was announced.
Additionally, interested youths under 21 years old may also be happy to know that the selection of new talents for the 2022 Sukma Johor might be re-opening.
Sarawak’s drive to encourage local amateur gamers to compete offers them the opportunity to improve their performances and standards.
Read more: What It Takes to Be an eSports Athlete
Photo by Stem List from Unsplash.