It’s game on for Malaysia as the country will be sending 24 eSports athletes to the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila, Philippines.
The athletes, aged 15 to 26, will represent Malaysia in six eSports medal events for the titles Tekken 7, Starcraft II, Hearthstone, Arena Of Valor, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Dota 2.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said it’s a new beginning for eSports in Malaysia at the flag-off event in Kuala Lumpur today
“We are here for our athletes,” he said, adding that it’s about time for all Malaysians to take eSports seriously and treat eSports players as athletes like in any other sports.
“Now those who play eSports as kids will aspire for something bigger,” he said in his speech to rally support for the national eSports team.
The eSports team also includes Firdaus Hashim as team manager, Ahmad Syazwan as head coach, and six other coaches.
According to Firdaus, the eSports athletes were selected in August and have been attending training sessions at the Orange Arena in Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur, since September.
The athletes are from various states, including Sabah and Sarawak, he added.
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation CEO Surina Shukri hopes the Malaysian eSports squad will create history at the SEA Games.
“The government of Malaysia is behind you. We got your back,” she said.
The 30th SEA Games will take place from Nov 30 to Dec 11 with the eSports medal events scheduled to start on Dec 5 and end on Dec 10.