PREPARATIONS for Esports in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) here in the Philippines got further legs as organizers last week named five of the six to be featured games in the event which will be making its Games debut.
One of the additional sports included in biennial regional meet, happening from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, Esports tournaments in the SEA Games have been divided into three categories, namely, PC, smart phones and gaming consoles.
The Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) and its Esports partner RazerTM announced that the games to be played are Dota2 and StarCraft II on PC, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Arena of Valor on smart phones, and on gaming consoles it is Tekken 7.
Organizers said the sixth and final console game is still undergoing evaluation and will be shortlisted in the coming weeks.
They went on to say that the final medal count will include two medal events for PC games, two medal events for mobile games, and two medal events for console games. The games are gender-inclusive and will be open to teams of both men and women to participate.
“In the three weeks since we announced Esports as a medal event at SEA Games 2019, we’ve seen a phenomenal level of interest from all segments of the industry, most of all game publishers. The shortlisting of six games in such a short time is evidence that the notion of Esports as a legitimate sporting event is no longer a fad. We look forward to having more partners come on board and join us in defining a new generation of sporting heroes for the youth and millennials,” Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan said.
Local sports officials also welcome the addition of Esports as a sporting event in the Games.
“SEA Games is about sports and competition but still we cannot forget about its goal of unity and inclusion. Gamers are part of this community,” PHISGOC Chairman Emeritus Alan Peter Cayetano said.
For his part, Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Butch Ramirez also hailed new sports in the Games like Esports and vowed to “support it and ensure its success.”
Esports is among the recently approved additional sports for the SEA Games 2019 along with lawn balls, kickboxing, floorball, table tennis, surfing, traditional boat race, obstacle sport, ice skating and rugby 7’s.
Also added are indoor hockey, ice hockey, modern pentathlon, pencak silat, pentaque, rowing, sambo, skateboarding, underwater hockey, vovinam and soft tennis.
ESports is set to be played in a still-to-be-determined place here in Metro Manila. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo