Minister supports growth of eSports

|     Danial Norjidi     |

THE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) will support and assist the growth of eSports, and welcomes the establishment of a national eSports association to lead the development of the sport.

This was shared by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin. He was responding to a question from Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Iswandy bin Ahmad during the 15th LegCo meeting yesterday.

At the meeting, Yang Berhormat Iswandy said, “The growth of electronic sports – better known as eSports – cannot be denied.

“In terms of economic contribution, in 2018 some countries in Southeast Asia earned USD3.1 billion.

“In the field of professional sport, the upcoming SEA Games 2019 will be hosting eSports. Even at the Brunei December Festival, local youth showed their skills in eSports.”

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin. – BAHYIAH BAKIR

“As a result of this, I think that eSports has potential that must be given a special approach.”

The LegCo member asked what support is given from the MCYS to develop eSports.

Responding, the minister noted that eSports involves well-organised competitive gaming among professionals using an online platform with massive, global participation.

“Hence, it has very good potential to generate high income,” he said.

He also noted that in Brunei Darussalam, eSports has a place among youth, where some youth groups have been actively participating in eSports tournaments inside and outside the country, and that eSports activities have been organised by youth since as early as 2011.

“MCYS always encourages various types of sports in this country, including eSports,” he affirmed.

“We see positive developments in the organising of eSports in the country by the private sector,” said the minister.

Sharing an example, he mentioned that during the Youth Entrepreneurship Week at the Youth Centre on March 15-17, eSports were among the activities that took place.

He also noted the Cyber Games Tournament 2018 that took place during the Brunei Technology Expo (TechXpo).

He said that, as a step forward, “The MCYS welcomes the establishment of an eSports association that will be a leader in the development of this sport, and I also understand that an application has already been made to establish a national sports association for eSports.

“I also want to share that, although eSports has not yet been officially registered, we have already supported eSports during the Hyperplay 2018 ASEAN eSports Festival held from July 27 to August 6, 2018 in Singapore, as we sent eight athletes to the tournament as Brunei Darussalam’s representatives under an ASEAN initiative, where the ministry provided financial assistance for the expenses of the delegation.”

“The ministry will support and assist the growth of eSports,” he highlighted, noting that eSports will be one of the competitions to be included at the upcoming SEA Games.

“So we hope that eSports participants will set up a registered association,” he added.