For anyone who’s been keeping up with the local gaming scene and hoping for something more, you may have something to look forward to soon. Malaysia Cyber Games 2018, an event organized by Suara Anak Muda 1Malaysia and Briged Kesatria Muda Malaysia – will be holding its second tournament this weekend at PWTC from the 13th to the 14th of January. RM300,000 are up for grabs in featured favorite games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Dota 2, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).

“It is our responsibility to nurture and provide a platform for our youths to grow,” says Datuk Mohd. Ali Mohamad Nor, Vice Secretary (Operations) of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia.

“Our hope is that through these events, we can bring Malaysia to a global stage and encourage local youths to grow their talent.”

As part of a new initiative, the Malaysian government has been backing more and more eSports events in the wake of increased global interest in the sector. This interest comes from a purported growth of twice the amount of RM 262 million (2014) up to RM 516 million (2016) in yearly sales. Datuk Seri Dr. Salleh Said Keruak, the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, also acknowledges the importance of investing in local talent and game industries in order to prepare Malaysia for the world stage and partake in the potential of this growing market.

“Contrary to views in past times,” he said, “eSports has started to garner worldwide attention, and in some ways can even now be considered a real national sport. We, as a government, do not only bear responsibility for making laws and governing the country, but we also strive to create jobs and provide opportunities to our younger generations, and this initiative is one such measure.”

Considering Malaysia’s traditional stance on gaming and its usual apathy towards eSports, this looks like it could be a step in the right direction. The recent controversy in the Philippines involving the revocation of Major status from Galaxy Battles II: Merging Worlds game tournament also means that there is a gap in the market that Malaysia could potentially exploit to host the next Major Dota 2 tournament.

– Written by Aaron Lim Jit Yang

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