Syed Saddiq: Malaysian e-sports team’s victory in SEA Games will end negative perception on gaming industry

Yiswaree Palansamy
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman flags off the SEA Games National Esports team after the launch of Level Up Kl Play 2019 in Kuala Lumpur November 9, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — The victory of local e-sports teams participating at the SEA Games this month would end negative perceptions surrounding the gaming industry, and pave the way for its growth here, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said.

Speaking to the press at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) here, at the Level Up Play gaming convention, Syed Saddiq said the performance of those who would be competing in the SEA Games in the Philippines, is very impressive.

“My first hope is for them to make Malaysia proud when they represent Malaysia in the SEA Games. We find their performance to be very impressive and I am very confident that they will bring home many medals for Malaysia, and can dispel the negative perceptions placed onto those who are active in the e-sports field.

“I think this is the way forward for them to break the negative perceptions faced by e-sports athletes in Malaysia, because when they carry the Malaysian flag, they become national athletes. The heroes and heroines of the nation who must be respected and helped as best possible,” the Muar MP added.

When asked to elaborate on the eSports Malaysia’s (ESM) games target, Syed Saddiq said that the organisation is still in the midst of ironing out several matters.

He said on November 21, his ministry would be tabling the first e-sports blueprint, and meetings would be held with industry players and enthusiasts, to discuss ways to spend the RM20 million allocation set aside for e-sports development, under the 2020 Budget.

“I think in South-east Asia, we look good, but we need to work a lot harder to be an Asian superpower. Not Asean, but Asia.

“If you look at China, they have Tencent and they have Ali Baba, and many more. In Malaysia, we need to start cultivating our e-sports industries, giving full support to them and at the same time the sports side of e-sports, should work collectively together with the industry,” he said when asked about Malaysia’s position in the region, with regards to e-sports development

For the future, Syed Saddiq said that he hopes to see more gaming companies setting their base in Malaysia and hire local workforce, many of whom are skilled in games development.

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