Without any doubt, eSports are an international phenomenon, but not all parts of the world are equally represented in it. While the likes of Europe, North America and China are leading the way, other regions such as South America, Australia and Southeast Asia are a long way behind.
This discrepancy is quite clear to everyone involved in the industry, and certain companies are taking the opportunity to jump into these emerging markets and grab a foothold while they are still developing. Singapore Telecom company Singtel is one such interested party and they have announced their intention to grow eSports in Southeast Asia by signing a memorandum of Understanding along with Globe, Artel, AIS, Telkomsel and their own subsidiary Optus.
The Memorandum promises to help the growth of various eSports in India, Australia and the countries of Southeast Asia in which the phenomenon is only starting to grow. The Memorandum was signed during the PVP eSports Championship, a multi-game event organized by Singtel.
Southeast Asia a Fast Growing Market
There are many reasons for the lack of growth of eSports in the region of Southeast Asia and while relative poverty is certainly one of them, the lack of interest by major eSports companies is another. More recently, major organizations like Gfinity and DreamHack have jumped in and started making serious investments into the region’s eSports.Advertisement
Gfinity’s Elite Series is set to expand into Australia and the Major Dota 2 tournament set to be hosted by Kuala Lumpur is sure to make a massive impact on the numbers of players looking to get involved with professional eSports in the region. Likewise, DreamHack has announced that their first ever Asian event will take place in Mumbai, which means India will be put on the eSports map in a major way.
All of this is quite exciting for all eSports enthusiasts in the region who have been waiting for things to really start happening in their corner of the world. Singtel’s Memorandum is yet another great step towards what could be a major and swift expansion of eSports into a somewhat untapped market with over a Billion people living in it.
What’s next for Southeast Asia?
Southeast Asia and Australia have been waiting for major eSports investments for some years, and now it is finally starting to happen for them. 2019 could very well be a tipping year for gamers in that part of the world, as multiple massive tournaments have been announced in Dota 2 and other popular eSports.
These tournaments are likely only the first of many, as multiple organizations have already announced their intention to organize tournaments in these countries and have pledged to invest money in order to grow the industry.
With sponsors and organizers rolling in, there is no doubt that the finest of talents from the Asian countries will quickly emerge and put their name on the map. Within a few years, it could be a perfectly normal thing to travel to India for a major eSports tournament and expect some stiff local competition from rising talents and emerging stars.