The Southeast Asian Games, also known as the SEA Games, is a biennial multi-sport event involving participants from the current 11 countries of Southeast Asia. This year, the 30th edition of the games will be held in the Philippines from 30th November to 11th December. For this edition of the Games, four designated hubs will serve as hosts; namely Manila, Clark, Subic, and a fourth cluster consisting of venues not grouped with the first three hubs. The Esports Southeast Asian Games 2019 are a welcome surprise!
The 30th edition will feature one additional category of games that is dissimilar to any of its previous versions. For the first time in history of SEA Games, Esports will be featured as a medal event.
Prior, Esports had been included in the 2018 Asian Games but only as a demonstration sport. It’s the first time for it to be a medal event in sporting events under the IOC.
When and Where Will Esports be Featured?
Esports will be featured as a medal sport at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines in at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan, Metro Manila from December 1 to 6, 2019.
How did this Change Occur?
Esports’ inclusion in the Southeast Asian Games was lobbied by Min-Liang Tan, CEO of Singapore-based gaming firm Razer. Tan announced in November 2018 that he has met with Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee chair Alan Peter Cayetano in Metro Manila to discuss about the possible inclusion of Esports in the regional games. One goal for the addition of Esports in the SEA Games is to make these games the most viewed in the regional athletic meet’s history, said Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of PHISGOC. By December 14, 2018, the national federation of Esports has formally sought formal inclusion in the games from the Esports International Federation. Tan said this in a statement:
“Today is a momentous day for gamers. Our talks with the SEA Games committee have paid off. Esports will be recognized as a medal sport in one of the most revered multi-sport events in South East Asia. Additionally, we’re thrilled to be made the official Esports partner for the 2019 SEA Games that will be held in the Philippines.
This is especially meaningful for us at Razer. We’ve been one of the pioneers of Esports, and we have always believed that professional gamers put in as much blood, sweat, and tears to achieve competitive proficiency in their field. Scientifically, sports science methodologies have been proven to be as effective, and have formed a part of the training regime for competitive players.
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This is why we toiled alongside our gamers for years – from developing hardware that offers them the competitive edge, to providing financial and marketing support to the top gaming teams in the world. To bring gaming to the masses and have it stand shoulder-to-shoulder next to traditional ‘sweat-sports’ is nothing short of a milestone for us. We look forward to taking Esports to the next level—an event that’s not just recognized, but celebrated around the world.”
Which Games Will be Played?
Six medals are to be contested in the Esports category, which isn’t too shabby considering this is Esports’ first appearance at a major sports tournament.
There’ll be plenty of action and loads to see; new teams and old battling it out for the history books.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (Mobile)
Arena of Valor (Mobile)
Dota 2 (PC)
What was the Criteria for Selection?
The titles that were selected had to follow a certain criteria that was decided by the International Olympic Committee. The title should not directly or indirectly promote the culture of violence and gambling. Other factors including the competitiveness, strategy involved and teamwork required, were the deciding variables of the inclusion of these games.
The physical and mental intensity of the game was also taken under consideration.
Organisation and Participation of Esports Southeast Asian Games 2019
Razer will also provide support in terms of software, hardware, and services in the organization of the Esports events.
Esports athletes will be chosen via qualifying tournaments, said Juban. There will be no direct invites for established Esports athletes, and qualifiers will be open to both amateurs and pros. They will make the “best damned Filipino Esports team that will compete against other SEA nations,” promised Joebert Yu, another member of the Esports ad hoc committee under the PHISGOC.
The participation will be based upon merits and there will be no bias based on race, gender, etc.
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How do you feel about the Esports Southeast Asian Games 2019 appearance? Are you for or against Esports being an Olympic sports in the future? Let us know in the comments below!