Esports are finally going to become a medal sport at a major sporting event when it makes its debut at the Southeast Asian Games next year.
The biennial multi-sport event, which involves participants from the 11 countries of Southeast Asia, will be hosted in the Philippines in 2019.
While eSports were part of the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, they were only included as a demonstration sport. The Southeast Asian Games will mark the first time they will be included as a legitimate medal event under the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Local sports authority Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PhilSGOC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) have teamed up with gaming firm Razer to bring competitive video gaming to such an event for the first time in history.
So far, popular mobile MOBA game “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang” has been confirmed as one of the six eSports titles to be included, with the full list expected to be unveiled by Dec. 15, according to Rappler.
A total of six gold medals will be awarded across multiple platforms. The official selection will be comprised of two mobile games, two PC games, and two console games in order to represent all gaming platforms.
“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,” Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan was quoted as saying.
“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.”
Featured image via YouTube / Razzan Prod