As the global professional esports scene continues to flourish, another huge sports event has picked up on the trend. Starting next year, the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) event will officially recognize competitive gaming as a medal sport.
As reported by ESPN5 Philippines, the 2019 SEA Games event will now include esports as a medal event. Chairman Emeritus Alan Peter Cayetano, a member of the Philippines South East Asian Games Organizing Committee, confirmed the news in a press conference.
“We are very thrilled, excited, and honored to have esports in the SEA Games with Razer as a partner,” says Cayetano. “Gamers are an important part of our community.”
Razer is the official partner of the esports event in SEA Games, and a part of the company’s Malaysian esports budget will be put into promoting the qualifiers in the country.
Part of our esports budget for Malaysia next year will go toward promoting the qualifiers in the country and Team Malaysia too! @SyedSaddiq
— Min-Liang Tan (@minliangtan) November 28, 2018
On their webpage for the SEA Games 2019 event, Razer explains, “With esports’ inclusion in one of the region’s most celebrated multi-sport event, we look to redefine the notion of sporting competitions around the world.”
The SEA Games esports event will host a variety of titles for PC, console, and mobile. The list of included titles is yet to be finalized, but popular MOBA game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is confirmed to be part of the event. A total of six gold medal awards will be distributed between the three platforms, and qualifiers will be held for each title.
It’s exciting to see esports continue to make its mark on the sports industry. After including it as a demo sport, the Asian Games 2022 event in China will also feature competitive gaming as a fully-fledged medal event.