We’re game to building an eSports arena, says Saddiq

KUALA LUMPUR: An eSports arena will be built as part of the Youth and Sports Ministry’s push to develop a professional eSports culture locally, says its minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (pic).

“We are looking to develop an eSports stadium. Stadium Raja Muda is one location that we are looking at,” he said.

Syed Saddiq may be referring to Stadium Jalan Raja Muda, a sports complex in Kampung Baru here that has since been renamed Kompleks MSN Jalan Raja Muda.

He said the ministry was also in talks with Singapore-based gaming hardware maker Razer Inc and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corpo­ration to start Malaysia’s first digital entertainment city in Jalan Ipoh.

Both plans, he added, were in the works.

“To sceptics who say eSports is for orang takde kerja main game saja (people with nothing better to do than play games), we say it has a huge growth potential,” Syed Saddiq said, pointing out that Malaysia was currently ranked 21 in terms of countries with revenue derived from eSports.

He said it was not a zero-sum game as eSport generated enough revenue to be a self-sustaining industry.

Syed Saddiq said there were also plans to form an eSports league system to encourage the grassroots development of local players.

The minister was speaking at the launch of the Kuala Lumpur Major, the first Dota tournament in Malaysia to get the Major status for the Dota Pro Circuit (CPC) 2018/2019 season.

The tournament will see 16 international teams competing for a cut of the US$1mil (RM4.15mil) cash prize pool as well as points in the CPC to qualify for The International in the United States, the biggest and most prestigious Dota tournament.

The three-day tournament will be held from Nov 16 to 18 at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.

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