ESI: Government-supported initiative Esports Integrated to streamline Malaysian esports
There’s little doubt that esports has been constantly growing in recent years, especially when it concerns Malaysia. Aware of this ever-growing phenomenon, the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS), in partnership with a strategic catalyst agency for youth and sports, Impact Integrated, set out to create Esports Integrated (ESI), “an initiative to catalyse a vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive esports ecosystem in Malaysia”.
“KBS has not had a centralised initiative to address all the problems that have been plaguing the esports industry,” revealed Ahmed Faris Amir, CEO of Impact Integrated, the reason behind ESI’s formation. “Which is why we created ESI - to integrate all existing efforts in the country to further improve the ecosystem.”
ESI is part of the government’s efforts to push the National Esports Roadmap forward, in hopes of accelerating the growth of Malaysian esports. The roadmap and core focuses of ESI were announced at its launch event yesterday, with Phase One’s plan consisting of:
- Creating a platform to centralise the Malaysian esports ecosystem, including an online tournament feature;
- Forming the Malaysia Esports Circuit, comprising the Malaysia Esports Championship and the Malaysia Esports League, and points earned from these tournaments will be calculated in said platform;
- Launching the Esports Conference series, a networking and discourse platform for esports, later this year;
- Advocating for a better regulatory framework and clearer guidelines in the esports sphere.
Aside from the above, a Capacity Building programme - which aims to raise the professional standards of Malaysia’s esports by tutoring organisers, team managers and coaches - is slated to begin next year. KBS’s official Esports Hub is also currently being constructed in Spacerubix, Puchong, to serve as a training ground for both professional and amateur e-athletes, as well as an event/tournament venue and a networking area for the athletes, coaches and industry players.
One of the challenges that ESI hopes to tackle is fragmented tournaments across the nation. “We have so many esports tournaments here, but they’re not centralised, which is why we’re introducing the Malaysia Esports Circuit,” Ahmed explained, adding that the online tournament feature will assist in bringing about a central platform that’s easily accessible by everyone. This is one of several issues that ESI are dead set on solving, and it’s a journey that they’re in for the long haul.
“I would like to humbly say this to the experienced players, teams, organisers, publishers: as the new kids on the block, we would like to be of assistance to you and complement the work that you do; we want to support you in every way that we can,” Ahmed expressed.
The ESI launch event yesterday saw the Minister of Youth and Sports, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Sri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, officiating the event. In attendance was also Datuk M Noor Azman Bin Taib, Secretary General of KBS, and of course, Ahmed Faris himself.
ESI’s partners include the Malaysia Electronic Sport Federation (MESF), eGG Network (what an honour!), Techninier, VC Media & Consultancy (VCMC) and Geek Fam.