Indonesia has always been the sleeping giant of the SEA esports scene. They’re finally getting their spot in limelight after years of struggle, with multiple $100,000+ tournaments, emerging superstar players, as well as a massive yet niche fanbase.
Here are some of the biggest esports moments that Indonesia has experienced.
Image Credits: Jennika Ojala | DreamHack
We start off with the most recent entrant to this list. It is almost a dream for every other country for one of its sons to go on and bring home a title as prestigious as a Valve Minor. But very few countries, particularly in the SEA region have ever achieved it.
In fact, it is a very short list. Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Thailand were the only four countries to have featured players who have won Valve events by the end of last season. However, Indonesian superstars Muhammad "inYourdreaM" Rizky and Kenny "Xepher" Deo managed to carry an entire nation’s hopes and won the first Minor of the 2018-19 DPC season: Dreamleague S10 with Tigers to cement their legacy amongst Indonesian fans.
No matter how many more tournaments, Indonesian teams/players might win in the future, this first scent of glory will always occupy a special place in the hearts of the Indonesian Dota 2 fans.
Once again, it is a pipe dream for many SEA Dota 2 fans to see their government officially acknowledging esports, let alone offering support for it.
Indonesia was however well ahead of the curve. The government of Indonesia officially recognized the Indonesia eSports Association (IeSPA) as a formal entity under the State Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs (Menpora) way back in 2014, paving the way for all the esports development that we’ve seen in the country since then.
While it might not be a memorable moment for many fans, it is one of the most important moments in the country’s esports history.
Image Credits: Starladder
While Xepher and inyourdream might have been the first Dota 2 players to win a premier international LAN, they weren’t the first Indonesians to do so. That honour goes to the celebrated CS:GO pros Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand and Kevin "xccurate" Susanto who won the StarLadder & ImbaTV Invitational Chongqing 2018 as part of Tyloo.
It would be an understatement to say that most of the community was shocked when Chinese giants Tyloo came all the way down to Indonesia to complete its roster way back in 2017 by picking up BnTeT, after which they had a considerable amount of success. However, Tyloo really started shining and became the best team in Asia only after they picked up xccurate earlier this year.
Slowly rising to the top of the Asian scene, they’ve won multiple pan-Asian tournaments and have managed to become the best performing Asian team in Majors. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to suggest that much of their success is thanks to the brilliance of their two Indonesian stars, xccurate and BnTeT.
Image Credits: GESC
In a country, whose biggest event till 2018 was the Indonesia Games Championship 2017 featuring a $35,000 prizepool, the announcement of the GESC: Indonesia Dota 2 Minor came as a welcome surprise. Fans were ecstatic when Jakarta was announced as the venue for SEA’s first DPC event of the 2017-18 season.
The prizepool was almost 10 times bigger and featured some of the best teams in the world including Evil Geniuses, Na’Vi and VGJ.Thunder. The way they pulled off the event also won them positive reviews from fans and talent alike, with top-notch production quality and one of the best crowds we’ve ever seen in a Dota 2 tournaments across the world.
Although it ran into a few controversies later this year, this tournament proved that Indonesia could successfully host a world-class esports tournament.
It was a distant dream for many esports fans to see the games they loved and adored be featured in the biggest stage for all athletes: an Olympic event.
Many have tried, but almost no one has succeeded in hosting a multi-national esports event featuring esports professionals representing their country and vying for that elusive gold medal. Or atleast that was the case until, The 2018 Asian Games - a pan-Asian multi-sport event held from August 18 to September 2, 2018 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.
For the first time ever, esports pros from across the continent represented their country in an event of this scale. Although, it was demonstration tournament featuring 6 games: Arena of Valor, Clash Royale, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Pro Evolution Soccer, and StarCraft II; the event was quite the success.
This success that esports enjoyed in Indonesia definitely played a part in it becoming a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games marking Indonesia’s place in the history books.