Scoring big in esports

Wang says the company is working closely with the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) to create more events to bring the esports community together. — Tencent

How does one go from playing PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) Mobile to levelling up and earning top dollars in the lucrative esports industry?

According to Vincent Wang, global publishing and global esports general manager at Tencent Games, the publisher of PUBG Mobile, the company has developed a structured global esports ecosystem to support its players, regardless of whether they are amateurs or professionals.

There are also many other opportunities for those out there seeking to build a career within the esports industry.

“With the industry growing to encompass more than just players; roles in publishing, game development, social media, or even marketing and events management are also crucial for the functioning of esports today,” Wang says in an email interview.

The company is also looking for ways to help youngsters get started in the esports industry.

“We are currently exploring plans to provide internship opportunities in the esports sector, as well as engage in further collaboration with local esports organisations to expand the wealth and breadth of career paths available to them,” he says.

He cites Statista’s projection that mobile gaming adoption in Malaysia will reach 28.1% of the population by 2026.

“We can expect even greater receptiveness to games in the near future, further contributing to the nation’s developing esports sector and digital economy,” he says.

Wang adds that the company is working closely with the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) to create more events to bring the esports community together.

For example, he says that the company has organised watch parties for esports matches across several campuses in Malaysia, including for the recent SEA Games 2021 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

PUBG Mobile, undoubtedly one of the most popular game titles, has allowed local players to build high-profile careers.

According to Liquipedia stats, Aiman Amirul “ManParang” Mohd Sahid, 24, has earned US$36,139 (RM158,610) since he began competing professionally in 2017, while 23-year-old Muhammad Izzrudin “Jumper” Hashim who started his career in 2018, has made US$70,141 (RM307,850).

He adds that it’s critical to foster a healthy and inclusive gaming environment for players.

For example, a colour-blind mode was integrated as a response to community requests on platforms like Reddit.

The company has also introduced measures to curb gaming addiction by introducing a Gameplay Management system, which will prompt players under 18 with reminders and advisory notices to take a break from the game.

Wang says the feature has been implemented in 20 countries.

For those struggling to score “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” in PUBG Mobile, Wang recommends that players look out for tutorials and gameplay videos on the official community channel, which he says are designed to help them get better at the game.

He says it’s also crucial for players to find the right motivation.

“Be it for the love of competition, the sense of satisfaction or the ability to join and contribute to a global community, having the right motivation will keep you engaged in the long run, especially as a professional player,” says Wang.

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