While the event debuted earlier in the year, the 2021 series followed quickly after with a prize pool of RM 100,000.
In fact, the event was so popular with gamers that they had to extend the number of participants from 1,700 to over 2,000 people.
“Initially we set a limit of 1,700 gamers for the competition but we had to expand it to over 2,000 due to the strong demand for slots. The majority of the competitors were amateurs as many of the pro players were playing in another major competition.”MES organizing chairman Aimanulhaq Zaharudin mentioned
Due to scheduling clashes, the event did not quite garner the viewing figures it was initially hoped for, but the “numbers were still good” according to Zaharudin.
“In terms of viewership numbers on Facebook live, we were able to reach 150,000 views. While this did not hit our intended target of 300,000 views, again due to the clash in dates with other major competitions, it’s still a good number for us considering that this is our first season.”
Gamers were able to compete across three titles: EA Sports’ soccer behemoth FIFA 21, Mobile Legends, and a core staple of the esports world, PUBG Mobile. There were three different winners across the games, ESDK Leora taking the MLBB title, Maxnevis triumphing in FIFA, and Meteor HG lifting the PUBG honors.
Malaysia Esports Series has bigger plans next year
Next year, the hope is to expand the competition, offering three times this year’s prize money and to include PC titles, as only consoles and mobile games were supported this time round.
It is certainly an exciting development in the Malaysian esports scene, which is growing year on year with more interest from both participants and viewers than ever before.
At the end of last year, Malaysia’s first-ever Esports City opened atop the Quill City Mall in Kuala Lumpur, offering a host of services catering to the modern gamer, including an esports cafe, arena, and a business network headquarters. That, coupled with the new tournament, should see the industry develop quickly in Malaysia.
Malaysia is well positioned to become an esports hub
Malaysia is perhaps one of the best places in Southeast Asia to develop the esports industry.
A guide to Malaysia published by Expatbets explains how it is one of the most developed and affluent countries in Southeast Asia, making it perfect as an esports hub. With the economic means to offer good prizes and the developed infrastructure for players, there is no surprise the recent tournament was a huge success.
Indeed Esports Business Network (EBN), the company behind Esports City, have plans to extend the RM 4 million facility in the coming months and years, which will help accelerate the growth of the industry.
The Esports Industry grew significantly in 2020
The esports industry received much worldwide exposure through 2020, as many consumers turned their attention to online competition in the absence of physical sports.
Some titles, such as Dota 2 and League of Legends, offer massive prize funds to those successful enough to win tournaments. Indeed, the major Dota 2 tournament, also known as the International 10, is expected to offer prize money in excess of RM165m this year.
With those sort of figures on offer, Malaysia’s growing esports industry could be a very important and lucrative addition to the local economy over the coming years.