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Malaysian eSports still seeing massive investments

A recent report noted that RM10 million has been pledged for eSports in Malaysia’s Budget 2019.

This news was received positively by the CEO of a global gaming hardware company, who replied to a tweet posted by the country’s Youth and Sports minister on the announcement, saying that he too would like to pledge an RM10 million investment for eSports in Malaysia.

According to the report, the RM10 million allocation will go to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). The CEO of MDEC said that it looks forward to working closely with the Youth and Sports Ministry for the progression of the eSports industry. She believes that there is more to eSports than just playing games.

She noted that it is a large industry that can potentially provide high-quality jobs for the youth including software developers and engineers, graphic designers and illustrators; and even eSports marketing and advertisers.

The budget announcement gives legitimacy and empowerment to the youth to pursue their passion for eSports and games, she had said in a statement.

The National ICT Association of Malaysia Pikom also applauded news about the RM10 million budget allocation.

The Pikom chairman noted that the association recognises the growing importance of the industry through the formation of its new Special Interest Group on eSports in 2019. This is part of its drive to attract the e-gaming community.

Another, more recent report noted that just after this news – of the budget allocation and investments by a major industry player – eSports is still continuing to get more investments, according to the Youth and Sports Ministry.

The Minister stated that “some of the biggest industry players” will be pitching in though he declined to reveal details until the plans are more concrete, most likely by the end of the year.

To reiterate, during Budget 2019, RM10 million was allocated to Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to develop eSports and the minister said he was still in talks with the Communications and Multimedia Ministry which MDEC is under.

He noted that he has been discussing the matter with (minister) Gobind Singh, at the launch of the first Major status tournament for the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2018/2019 season.

He also noted that the first step is to support eSports athletes and second is to build the ecosystem into a thriving one where Malaysia is not just a consumer but also a maker and exporter of games.

On whether the Youth and Sports Ministry should take the role of overseeing state-level eSports development efforts, the minister said he would prefer the ministry to take a step back.

Although the ministry could help with coordination, it did not want to overly regulate as it could slow down the progress of eSports.

He said a national league is in the pipeline and would be rolled out next year which would help develop grassroots programmes across the states.  However, he said the role of player development is the responsibility of the association – eSports Malaysia (ESM).

The minister said that the ESM was still “unstable” and needs to be reformed to be able to address the concerns of eSports athletes and also liaise with the Ministry more effectively.

He said the Ministry was in talks with ESM and expected the changes to take effect by March when the association has its elections.

The organisers and co-organisers said The Kuala Lumpur Major will see 16 international teams battling it out for a total prize pool of RM4.19 million (US$1 million).

The Kuala Lumpur Major is being held from 16 November to 18 November 2018 at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur and is supported by the Youth and Sports Ministry and National Sports Council of Malaysia.


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