Esports as a medaled, competitive sports category becomes official at the 2019 SEA Games. With all games held at FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan, the 6-day long event includes Esports athletes from the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia, and Indonesia competing on PC, mobile, and console games.
For the first day of the competition, Esports athletes compete against one another in Mobile Legends, Starcraft II, and Hearthstone, with Team Sibol’s Jia Dee playing against Team Malaysia for Hearthstone. Other games for the Esports SEA Games tournament include DOTA 2, Arena of Valor, and Tekken 7.
“SEA Games is definitely the first step, and we definitely want to see SEA Games Esports to continue,” Razer Global Esports Director David Tse said, adding that Razer remains committed to making Esports recognized on other prestigious sporting events like the Olympics.
The inclusion of Esports in the SEA Games is also another step in addressing the negativity associated with it. “To me, Esports is an ecosystem. Anyone who wants to be involved must understand that this is a career [and that] this is a commitment,” Tse said. Outside of the SEA Games, Tse adds that there is a need to educate everyone—not just the players—about Esports being a career like any conventional sporting activity.
“Their presence [Esports athletes] at the SEA Games will encourage new Esports talent to break the mold and make a difference in something they are truly passionate about,” Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan said.