Razer has come on board as the official e-sports partner of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 2019), marking the latest milestone in its quest to boost the global status of e-sports.
As the official e-sports partner, Razer will draw upon its expertise and experience in e-sports, as well as its ecosystem of hardware, software and services to support the e-sports tournament at SEA Games 2019. This includes facilitating discussions between Philippine SEA Games Organising Committee (PhilSGOC) and various game publishers to select the games that will be featured at the SEA Games esports tournament. In addition, Razer will be supporting the final crop of Team Philippines e-sports athletes who will represent the host country at the finals.
Over the past year, a Razer delegation led by co-founder and Tan Min-Liang (pictured) met with the PhilSGOC and the Philippine Olympic Committee on several occasions to work towards elevating e-sports to a recognised medal event at the games.
Moonton, the publisher behind Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, is the first game partner for the SEA Games 2019. Other game partners will be announced in due course. The inclusion of e-sports as a medal event at the SEA Games is an important step in legitimising it as a "true world-class sporting contest", engaging a new generation of gaming fans, Razer said.
According to Tan, e-sports has been the essence of Razer ever since it was founded. “The sportsmanship and fighting spirit seen in e-sports 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," he said.
Meanwhile, Alan Peter Cayetano, PhilSGOC chairman, said being the first host country to stage an e-sports tournament as a medal event lends credence to professional gaming as a true world-class sporting contest. “Razer is a pioneer and a prime mover in esports, and we cannot ask for a better partner in this historic journey,” Cayetano added.
Razer has been aggressive in the e-sports scene, with Tan more recently announcing plans to invest RM10 million into Malaysia's e-sports scene in 2019. It also partnered with Singtel Group in September to launch the PVP eSports Championship, a multi-title and regional league.
According to Newzoo, there are more than 2.3 gamers globally, with 71% of Millennials identifying themselves as gamers. the global e-sports audience is expected to reach 276 million by 2022, while e-sports itself is projected to be a billion-dollar industry by 2019.