From your computer screens to the international sporting stage, electronic sports (E-Sports) is ready to make noise, take the spotlight, and take the world of sports by storm.
History will be etched in the annals of world sporting scene following the breakthrough inclusion of E-Sports in the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
It will be the first time in world sports history – and in 30 editions of the regional biennial event – that the booming online gaming industry will be recognized as a legitimate sports discipline.
Making this spectacle even bigger for the 21st century generation, E-Sports will not be just a demonstration sport, but a regular event as one of the 56 medal sports approved by the SEA Games Federeration Council last week.
“The Philippines is the first host country to stage an E-Sports tournament as a medal event,” said Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) Chairman Allan Peter Cayetano.
“This lends credence to the professional gaming as a true world-class sporting contest, as it engages a new generation of gaming fans.”
Indonesia actually started taking the risk on E-Sports last August in the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta, but only considered it as a demo event.
For the upcoming 30th SEAG, it will be regular category, with six medals in six events at stake for the 11 participating SEA nations.
As of now, though, the E-Sports National Association of the Philippines (E-SNAP) and the Philippine Esports Ad Hoc Committee has yet to finalize which six games will be played.
The two involved groups will iron out the particular online games to be played on or before the SEAG Federation Council’s Dec. 15 deadline.
As for the composition of the Philippine national team, there will be a scheduled national qualifiers for all Filipino amateur and professional gamers, from which the national team training pool will be formed.
The final team who will don the national tri-colors in the historic E-Sports SEAG will be selected by experts along the way.
Making it possible is Razer, which the PHISGOC tapped as the official E-Sports partner in this breakthrough conclave.
For Razer – the leading gaming brand in the world which supports 18 pro-gaming teams around 25 countries – the inclusion of E-Sports in SEAG is timely for its rise in sporting world.
As of 2018, there are already 2.35 billion active gamers in the world. The projected mass audience is expected to reach 276 million by the year 2022, shockingly surpassing the audiences of popular and established leagues like the Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL) in the U.S.
This upward projectile of e-sports is only a testament to gamers’ equally comparable qualities to other athletes from different sports, according to Razer CEO and co-founder Min-Liang Tan.
“The sportsmanship and fighting spirit seen in E-Sports is no less than that of other sports,” he said.
“ We’ve fought hard for its inclusion in an international event like the SEA Games 2019.”