Thursday August 24, 2017
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Electronic sports is seen as a key driver in the development of the digital economy, Jailani said. — AFP picElectronic sports is seen as a key driver in the development of the digital economy, Jailani said. — AFP picKUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — A Communications and Multimedia Blueprint has been formulated that encompasses both technical and social imperatives, said the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia. 

Deputy Minister, Datuk Jailani Johari, said the blueprint was anchored on four strategic thrusts, namely connecting people, creating an informed society, driving digital economy and empowering creative industries.

“Electronic sports (eSports) is seen as a key driver in the development of the digital economy,” he told reporters at ‘The Biggest Mobile Game Tournament In Malaysia’ Prize Giving Ceremony organised by Celcom, here today.

“Globally, the proliferation of competitive gaming or eSports in recent years is evidenced by the broadcasting of eSports tournaments and competitions by media giants such as ESPN and Turner, and the global eSports industry is estimated to hit the US$1 billion mark this year,” said Jailani.

He said the Olympic Council of Asia had added eSports as a demonstration game at the Fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in September this year, and it had announced that eSports would be included in the 2018 Asian Games and made a medal sport in 2022, a bold step towards mainstream recognition of competitive gaming. 

It was recently reported that eSports was also being considered as a medal event in 2024 Olympic Games, said Jailani.

“eSports is not only alive and well in Malaysia but thriving. We have cybergames, we have an active eSports association and even private companies have their own eSports clubs,” said Jailani, adding that the opportunities were endless. 

“Internationally, Malaysian professional gamers made a mark for themselves when a Malaysian team made history by reaching the semi-finals of last year’s prestigious gaming tournament ‘Dota 2: The International’ and took home US$1.4 million, the highest prize money ever won by a Southeast Asian Dota 2 team,” he said. 

The Ministry had invested extensively in facilitating this transition towards a digital economy, providing initiatives such as building digital platforms, stimulating the development of content and digital tools via grants to developers, said Jailani.

“I think that it is clear that eSports has a place in the digital economy in Malaysia and the Communications and Multimedia Ministry will ensure that it is not a lagger, and that it plays its role in supporting the development of this segment,” he added. — Bernama

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