SEA Games 2019: Malaysian eSports athletes to watch and when

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (standing, seventh from left) officially introduced the national eSports contingent at a flag off event on Nov 9. — Bernama

The 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines is currently underway and for the first time ever, Malaysia is sending 24 eSports athletes to compete in six eSports medal events from Dec 5 to 10 at the Filoil Flying V Center in Manila. The squad will be led by Firdaus Hashim as team manager and Ahmad Syazwan as head coach.

The eSports medal event will kick off with Mobile Legends: Bang Bang qualifying rounds on Dec 5 with Malaysia being represented by athletes Ahmad Ali Huzaifi Abdullah, Abdul Wandi Abdul Kadir, Izme Haqeem Hamsjid, Muhammad Hazeem Onn, Jamil Nurolla and Mohd Faris Zakaria.

On the same day, the Starcraft II (PC) team with athletes Yap Kien Khun and Jonathan Wong Choon Hoong and the Hearthstone (PC) team with Hee Zi Song and Yew Weng Kean will also compete in the qualifying rounds.

The Arena Of Valour team – Cham Hong Xin, Poh Jing Sheng, Kok Kar Seng, Loo Yong Leong, Chan Choung Guan and Tai Tong – will start their qualifying rounds on Dec 7. According to Ikan Masin Studio managing director Stanley Low who manages the team, the athletes are excited to represent Malaysia and compete in a regional tournament for the first time.

When asked if the team has expressed any concern about the facilities in the Philippines after reports emerged that the SEA Games organisers have failed to deliver on certain aspects such as transportation, food and accommodation, Low said yes.

"But I believe the National Sports Council will ensure everything goes smoothly before our athletes get there," he said, adding that the squad only leaves tomorrow.

Dota 2 (PC) qualifying rounds will begin on Dec 7 with Malaysia being represented by Khoo Chong Xin, Denise Danial Abdullah, Bakri Anwar, Ahmad Rizqan Muzakkir Ahmad Nizam, Mohd Helmy Ibrahim and Muhammad Naufal Osman.

Tekken 7 qualifying rounds will take place on Dec 10 with Muhammad Zarif Aiman and Abdul Rahim Abdul Shukor competing for Malaysia.

The full schedule of eSports events at the 2019 SEA Games is available here.

Viewers can catch the opening ceremony for the eSports title event at 9am on Dec 5 on Astro's CH800 channel, and the Astro Go app. RTM has a live streaming site for SEA Games here.

Malaysian athletes will be competing in all six eSports medal events from Dec 5 to 10. — Astro Malaysian athletes will be competing in all six eSports medal events from Dec 5 to 10. — Astro

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