SEA Games: Malaysia snaps up two silver and two bronze medals for esports amid controversy

The MLBB team in the female category had to share a bronze medal with Vietnam despite beating the country 2-0. — Photos: Esports Selections Task Force under OCM for SEA Games Cambodia 2023

The Malaysian esports contingent took home four medals at the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia that concluded on May 15.

For the first time ever, Malaysia sent a team to compete in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) female category.

The team shared a bronze medal with Vietnam, a decision that riled up fans as Malaysia had defeated Vietnam 2-0.

Malaysia’s SEA Games contingent assistant manager Megat Danish Izmeer told IGN Southeast Asia: "But I guess from the organiser’s standpoint, this decision was made with the aim to foster sportsmanship and appreciate both teams within the bronze medal tier. A bit weird, but that was the decision."

Gold and silver went to Indonesia and the Philippines, respectively.

The players in the MLBB female category were Vanessa "Bunny" Natasha Abdullah, Sharifah "Aria" Alia Husna, Anatasha "Anatasha" Norman, Hanis "Hanie" Wahidah Mohamad Dashuki, Nurul Effa "Fafau" Fauzana Mohd Fauzi, Nur Afrina "Rosemary" Syuhada Ahmad Shaltut and Wan Nur "Dibo" Adibah Humairah.

In the MLBB open category, Malaysia earned the silver medal after losing 3-0 to the Philippines, while Myanmar took home the bronze medal.

For the MLBB open category, Malaysia was represented by Muhammad Danial "Cikugais" Mohamad Fuad, Idreen "Momo" Abdul Jamal, Mohamad Zul "Xorn" Hisham Mohd Noor, Muhammad Arif "Rippo" Abdul Halim, Muhammad Nazhan "Chibi" Mohd Nor, Mohammad Irwandy "Izanami" Lim and Muhammad Syafizan "Garyy" Najmi.

Malaysia also took home a bronze medal in the PUBG Mobile group category, while Indonesia won gold and Vietnam got silver.

The athletes in Malaysia Team 1 were Muhammad Nur Azmi "Pasha" Mohamed Halim, Mohd Irzam "DamGOOD" Aman Mohd Zaini, Muhammad Dhiya "uHigh" Ulhaq Muhammad Arasz, Nadzrul "Stuxnet" Abd Sagal, Muhammad Daim "Mica" Rosli and Mohamad Nabil "Snipes" Nazaruddin.

Meanwhile, in the Mission Against Terror 2 group category on May 7, Malaysia won silver. The gold went to the host country, where the game is known as AK2.

The team consists of athletes Hariq "Puaka" Izzat Amirul Muhamad, Iqbal "matbal" Harun, Muhammad Syahmi "MwDx" Aiman Abd Jalani, Reydza "Zetsu" Pyar Dasha Mohd Fadilah, Shah "Kinda" Rullah Muadzah Sauki and Muhammad Fazrul "SaviourZ" Izwan Roslan.

Team Malaysia for AK2 posing with their silver medals, the first win for Malaysia in esports at this year’s SEA Games.Team Malaysia for AK2 posing with their silver medals, the first win for Malaysia in esports at this year’s SEA Games.

Controversial gold medal

Valorant, which was featured for the first time as a medal event for the SEA Games, was marked with controversy, with Indonesia accusing Singapore of cheating by exploiting a bug at the finals on May 11.

Just as Singapore was leading, Indonesia called for a technical pause, which lasted for two hours.

It claimed that the bug gave Singapore an unfair advantage by allowing its team to track opponents’ movements through an in-game camera.

Before the match continued the next day, Indonesia decided to forfeit the game, giving Singapore an automatic gold.

However, the organisers ruled that both countries be given gold medals.

Future fights

In terms of the medal tally for esports, Indonesia came out on top with three gold and two silver medals. Out of nine countries, Malaysia finished sixth overall.

The Malaysian esports contingent for the SEA Games was formed by the task force under the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).

When contacted today (May 17), a task force member said he was unsure if the task force will continue to select athletes for future tournaments.

"The task force was formed for the purpose of the SEA Games Cambodia 2023. We are still not sure if OCM will continue with this task force for upcoming esports tournaments.

"If given the opportunity, we will not hesitate to take up the responsibility and perform our duties for the nation and for the sport," Muhammad Farouq Abdul Patah said to LifestyleTech.

At the SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, last year, Malaysia took home three bronze medals.

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