It’s time for other SEA countries to step up too.
Singapore has announced that their first esports representatives for the upcoming 2019 SEA Games will be announced by May this year. This comes after Singapore Esports Association (SGEA) recently announced its selection process last week.
According to The Straits Times, Singapore will hold two selection events; an open qualifier in March 2019, where the top eight athletes will be able to advance to the national selection finals in May 2019.
Taking place from 30 November to 10 December 2019 in the Philippines, the 2019 SEA Games will feature six esports titles: two on PC (Dota 2 and Starcraft 2), two on mobile (Arena of Valor and Mobile Legends), and two on console (Tekken 7 and an as-of-yet unspecified game).
Tekken 7 and Starcraft 2 will receive two representatives each, while all the other titles are team-based. At the time of writing, other countries in the Southeast Asian region have yet to announce their respective selection process for choosing esports representatives in the 2019 SEA Games.
“We have taken careful steps to ensure the integrity and fairness of this selection process, in what is a historic milestone for e-sports in Singapore and South-east Asia,” said SGEA president Ng Chong Geng. “The framework has been built to ensure that new and existing athletes – as well as overseas and veteran players – have the opportunity to qualify to represent Singapore.”
In the meantime, Singapore is no stranger to the esports scene, boasting some of the best athletes in the region or perhaps the world. For instance, several Singaporean Dota 2 players have gained prominence, including Daryl Koh ‘iceiceice’ Pei Xiang (who currently plays for Team Fnatic), Wong ‘NutZ’ Jeng Yih (who coached Team MVP in The International 2016), and more. Assuming they can work together like last time and fighting against established current teams with a native roster (like most of The Philippines), then there’s no issue there.
Since Tekken 7 will be one of the contested titles, Ho Kun Xian (popularly known as Xian) could be a worthy candidate for Singapore if he’s willing to pick up another lucrative fighting game. His best achievement was beating Japanese player Hajime ‘Tokido’ Taniguchi and becoming the champion of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition at EVO 2013.
As the first international sports event in history to feature esports as a medal sport, the 2019 SEA Games will be a historic and momentous occasion for gamers everywhere. It will be fascinating to see where the esports industry will go from there.