Esports has come a long way in the last decade. While competitive video gaming was once relegated to some minor tournaments incorporating a few games held in a couple of countries in Asia, Esports is now a major force in the entertainment sector. In 2016, Global revenue for the worldwide Esports market had grown to over 892 Million Dollars with a Global audience of over 200 million people and is projected to grow to over 1.1 Billion Dollars with a viewership of over 300 million people by 2019. It is clear that Esports is here to stay and will only continue to grow.
The Government of Malaysia has recognized this. Earlier this year, they announced a college level Esports program which would aim to educate the general public about Esports while developing Esports in Malaysia. Now continuing that trend, The State Government of Penang (a state in Northern Malaysia) has just announced RM 1 million ($230,000+) for the training and development of Esports via Penang Youth Development Corporation.
Although Esports has been consistently supported by Malaysian government since the beginning: They helped Arrow Gaming with their visas for TI4, They also gave official recognition to ‘Esports Malaysia’, an NGO dedicated to Esports development in the country; This is a new milestone for the Malaysian Esports scene. This is the first time that the government is directly supporting the development of Esports in their country.
We can only hope that other countries from our region take note of this welcome move and try to implement the same in their own countries and help push Esports into the forefront of the entertainment industry.