Singtel held an event today announcing a sponsorship for the Singaporean esports team heading to the 2019 SEA Games later this year. Partnering with the Singapore Esports Association (SGEA), Singtel will provide funding for the teams being sent under Team Singapore later this November. While financial details weren’t disclosed, they will provide aid for training, competitions and player stipends. There was also mention of a scholarship aspect that gives access to further education opportunities.
8Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel International Group said: “Devotion to their craft, facing the rigours of intense competition, and the pursuit of excellence; there are many similarities between esports and traditional athletes. Having esports as a medal event in the SEA Games is clear acknowledgement for gaming and the community in the region.”
As Southeast Asia gears up for esports becoming a medal event, we have seen more countries ramp up their esports initiative in hopes of snagging extra medals for their countries. Singapore has already invested in Team Flash, building an esports facility in the Singapore Sports Hub. Malaysia and the Philippines are also carrying out esports initiatives in an attempt to find the best local talent in their respective games.
Ng Chong Geng, President of SGEA said: “SGEA is proud to work closely with a partner like Singtel, which has stepped up to bolster the local esports ecosystem in Singapore and the region. Both SGEA and Singtel are equally committed to the growth of esports in Singapore and we look forward to collaborating with other like-minded partners moving ahead.”
Singtel also announced several additional projects, with the Singtel PVP Ambassadors and PVP Community leagues. The Ambassador program seeks to partner with local teams and players, such as EVO 2013 winner Ho Kun Xian. The community leagues are amateur grassroots initiatives aimed at university students and young office workers – called the Campus and Corporate leagues. Under the titles Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and DOTA 2, they hope to encourage students and workers to form teams and sign up in an amateur online league that will culminate in an offline event in the second half of 2019.
Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Education said: “The growth of esports and its related industries present our youth and workers with interesting job opportunities. Industry players like Singtel can play a key role to help them gain skills and knowledge to benefit from these new pathways.”
Esports Insider says: Exciting news coming out of Singapore, with Singtel announcing multiple initiatives. It seems that esports is finally being taken seriously in SEA, with the opportunity to increase their medal count – countries are scrambling to invest quickly. Regardless, this continues to be good news for the ecosystem in Singapore as esports steps out from the shadows and become a respected industry. The grassroots leagues are also key and should not be overlooked. If successful, the word of mouth it generates can dramatically increase awareness of esports in Singapore.