Senior esports team formed

Yeoh (centre) and Gan (right) with Team eMAS members. — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

OFTEN associated with youth and lightning reflexes, a group of older individuals are shattering stereotypes by becoming the first senior esports team in Malaysia.

The group, known as Team eMas, was formed through the Boomers2Gamers campaign by milk brand Goodday Charge, which kicked off in February.

A total of 298 senior applicants aged over 50 and without prior gaming experience, participated to compete for a spot in the team.

The list was shortlisted to 10 finalists who were given training over several weeks, focusing on strategy, skills, teamwork and communication.

Six out of the 10 were then picked to form the first official senior esports team in Malaysia.

The team’s formation was launched by Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh and supported by the Malaysian Esports Federation at an esports club in a Kuala Lumpur mall.

The top 10 finalists received a total pool prize of RM22,000.

Yeoh said she took a greater interest in esports when Malaysia won silver and bronze for the category during the Asian Games last year.

“Esports is often perceived as the domain of the young, focused solely on entertainment,” she said.

“However, through initiatives like Boomers2Gamers, we demonstrate that esports is also focused on strategic thinking, mental agility and community – qualities that resonate with traditional sports.

“Esports requires the same discipline and demand of any other sport.”

The ministry, said Yeoh, had expanded the list of recognised sports from 51 to 103, including esports, as of March last year.

Etika Sdn Bhd marketing vice-president Amy Gan said esports is a mentally-challenging sport, much like chess and snooker.

“Esports help players to improve cognitive and motor skills, hand-eye coordination and most importantly, communication.

“Contests such as Boomers2Gamers make esports more inclusive by creating a better understanding and greater acceptance which will bridge the generational gap.

“Goodday Charge is dedicated to championing the belief that esports is a legitimate sport, requiring discipline, skills and fitness for optimal performance.

“From supporting the National eSport Development Guideline with the Youth and Sports Ministry to sponsoring the 2024 Malaysian Esports Awards, our aim is to change negative stereotypes and misconceptions of esports in Malaysia,” she said.

The six members of Team eMas are Trish Lim as team leader, Nahar Ludhfi as entry fragger, Ahmad Zamzuri also known as Tom as second entry fragger, Johan Arifin and John Yap as support and Linda Tee as the substitute.

Each was handpicked by former professional esports athletes with a combined experience of over 20 years, Mohd Syazwan ‘Wanr0’ and Mohammed Reza ‘Rexa’ based on several criteria.

“The game is fast-paced. We need to know the commands with proper teamwork and good communication.

“The team members understood their roles while playing the game.

“This competition has opened so many doors and opportunities for us and above all, it transcends age,” said Lim.

As a finale for the Boomers2Gamers campaign, Team eMAS competed in four matches against Malaysian professional Counter-Strike team, HXG to be eligible for recognition as the first senior esports team.

Their feat was recognised by the Malaysian Electronic Sports Federation and Malaysia Book of Records.

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