TALAL BUKHAMSEEN WRITES– The gaming industry is quickly becoming a lucrative part of the Southeast Asian economy. As the region continues to benefit from a growing digital user-base, traditional tech companies that previously made video games have branched into online gaming, incorporating players from all over the world and improving their businesses.

This new market has put conventional industries, especially entertainment, in peril. For instance, e-sports, a multiplayer video game played competitively for an audience, has become increasingly lucrative, with more people joining in as online gamers or sponsors. Presently, renowned games such as Yap “xNova” Jian Wei are earning millions from video games, especially online sports. Stakeholders in e-sports are also getting a large cut, as more people invest in the division.

People watch live eSports games taking place, even placing bets on players

Some Southeast Asian countries— Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia—are embracing national championships that revolve around eSports, even celebrating them nationally. International competitions have been staged as more spectators and sponsors get involved, the Asean Post reports. Professional gamers play in teams or singles. Overall, these games generate significant global revenue courtesy of rapid expansion and comprehensive tournaments. In 2018 over a billion US dollars was generated.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member nations is already keen on capitalizing on eSports. In Malaysia, the sports council organized a new unit to grow the nation’s eSports. Member nations are well equipped to develop and grow eSports in the avenues of players/teams, advertising, and business opportunities linked to the game.

Clearly, while initially considered a puerile distraction, the Southeast Asia region is benefiting from this new style of gaming. And the benefits go beyond economic gain; people and nations across the globe are joined together in their  love of technology and sports.

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