It was recently confirmed that esports would be part of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games as a medal sport. Today, Razer has been announced as the official esports partner for the big event. It was also revealed that a total of six esports titles will be featured at the 2019 SEA Games, much like the 2018 Asian Games.
“The Philippines is the first host country to stage an esports tournament as a medal event. This lends credence to professional gaming as a true world-class sporting contest, as it engages a new generation of gaming fans,” said Alan Peter Cayetano, PhilSGOC Chairman. “Razer is a pioneer and a prime mover in esports, and we cannot ask for a better partner in this historic journey,” Cayetano added.
According to the announcement, Razer will be facilitating the discussions between the Philippines Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PhilSGOC) and potential game partners to determine the final list of titles that will be represented at the 2019 SEA Games. The company will also be supporting the esports athletes that will be representing the Philippines at the event.
“Esports has been the essence of Razer ever since we were founded, and we have supported countless global events, tournaments, teams, and athletes over the past decade and a half,” said Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. “The sportsmanship and fighting spirit seen in esports is no less than that of other sports, and we’ve fought hard for its inclusion in an international sporting event like the SEA Games 2019.”
As for the six titles that will be featured at the event, they will be divided across three platforms – two for console games, two for PC, and two for mobile. So far, only one Moonton, the publisher of popular mobile MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, has been announced as a game partner for the event. The rest of the titles that will be featured at the 2019 SEA Games are set to be announced in the coming months.
Justin Yuan, CEO and co-founder of Moonton Games, said, “SEA Games 2019 is the perfect platform to propel Mobile Legends: Bang Bang into the big leagues, given our strong user base here as well as the region’s fast-growing youth and millennial population. Razer’s role as the official esports partner gives us confidence that the tournament will be nothing short of phenomenal. We look forward to seeing Southeast Asia’s best Mobile Legends: Bang Bang players face off against each other.”
The inclusion of esports as a medal event at the 2019 SEA Games marks the first time esports will be included in a multi-sport event of this caliber and marks a big step forward towards legitimizing esports as world-class sporting event.