online gaming e-sports esports

The following article is submitted to the Editorial of Malaysia Gazette by reader, Luqman Hakim bin Sahar Effendi.

In this age of technology and sophisticated gadgets, the number of careers available on the market is widening. Who would have guessed that things that were once undertaken to pass time or as hobby could now be turned into a career? Electronic gaming, which is also known as E-sports, is gaining popularity in the country and is seen as having the potential to become a lucrative profession for those who participate in video games.

Malaysia has a number of talented players who participate in video games such as Dota 2, Mobile Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Tekken 7 and FIFA at the Olympic level. While there are many success stories of young people in our country who venture into the E-sports, our country’s growth of E-sports varies from that of other countries that have produced many millionaire professional athletes. That is the reality that Malaysian professional athletes must face despite the fact that their profession is becoming increasingly popular.

Despite its late arrival in Malaysia, E-sports is rising in popularity and being recognized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS). The E-sports Growth Strategic Plan 2020-2025 was launched by KBS to broaden it with five strategies which are developing athletes for E-sports, ethical and responsible E-sports, access to E-sports infrastructure, creating healthy E-sports ecosystems and regulating god laws and governance. Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Seri Reezal Marican Naina Marican also gave good attention to E-sports.

We cannot deny that E-sports is associated with a number of negative images and attitudes, especially among parents particularly when children die as a result of becoming too addicted to playing games and neglecting life’s responsibilities such as prayer and seeking knowledge rather than sweating like other traditional sports. Various parties should fix this perception. E-sports has both positive and negative elements if not handled properly and should be driven by the goals of education, economy, health, job advancement and participation in youth and volunteer organizations.

To that end, the Malaysian Youth Council (MBM) established E-sports Medical Academic (Esports MedicA), a comprehensive medical committee devoted exclusively to E-sports and video game players. Apart from being in the Green Crescent Malaysia and Darul Khusus Electronic Sports Team, MBM leads Esports MedicA.

There are two other elements, namely the e-sports element coordinated by Muhammad Faries Faizal Shamsul who is the co-founder or Member of the Standing Committee of Education & President of Darul Khusus Electronic Sports Club and the medical element. Face, ear, cognitive, ergonomic and psychological experts make up the Esports MedicA team.

This medical community continues to partner with E-sports organizations in order to better understand and interact with the players. This community is impartial not adhering to society’s existing negative or optimistic views of e-sports play and seeks to contribute to the safe growth of E-sports. Some parents considered the presence of E-sports MedicA to be a relief.

MBM is also attempting to encourage E-sports as a way of advancing one’s career, expertise and entrepreneurship. It’s one of the job creation options available after Covid -19.

Streamers in addition to professional players, play an important role in E-sports. Streamers are people who make live streams of video games so that anyone can watch them play. They can engage with their viewers when streaming so that they are amused as well as able to transform it into content. Furthermore, the presence of social media platforms like Facebook that provide video game streaming space has indirectly opened space for players to generate their own revenue through star distribution mechanisms. The star distribution mechanism also known as Facebook gaming stars is a network that enables viewers and streamers to connect more effectively. The stars will be purchased first by the viewers who will then give to the streamers while they are streaming. As a result, the more stars a streamer has, the money they make.

In addition to being paid, streamers can raise money from ads, pay perview and merchandise sales as well as crowdfund charitable activities. As a result, streamers are taught to use this platform not just for profit but also for charitable work and volunteerism, Therefore, it’s not shocking that we hear them soliciting contributions for causes such as the Covid-19 battle fund and pediatric patient care.

Since most streamers lack formal education, they can be equipped with both physical and soft skills such as communication, branding, financial management, imaginative content, problem solving and filling and development expertise. As a consequence, their awareness and abilities will develop and lifelong learning will be facilitated. Hence, MBM aims to encourage E-sports expertise as a skill that can be used not just in E-sports but also in other fields that can produce benefit and profits.

E-sports need special consideration from those in charge as this platform has a promising future. We can see how the growth of the artistic content and technology industries is boosting economies around the world. As the E-sports industry generates a large number of talented players around the world, the country’s name will certainly be well known around the world.

Luqman Hakim bin Sahar Effendi