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The culture of Esports in Malaysia

In the gaming community, esports is a widely known term for competitive gameplay at a larger scale similar to sport events like NFL and FIFA. However, esports differ from their physical counterparts as they do not rely on the physical prowess of their players. Players who seek to improve themselves then participate in the competitive environment by joining or forming a team according to the game they wish to participate in the tournament and train rigorously to improve themselves and enhance their game knowledge. With so many games to participate, how is Malaysia’s Esport scene different compared to other countries?

To no one’s surprise, League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2 is popular among the youths. You can see many of these games being played in cybercafes at almost every desk of the cafe. This is due to how accessible they are to the youths as they are free-to-play games and allow them to freely play the games alone or with friends whenever they wish. Cybercafes would occasionally hold tournaments for these games for a prize pool at a decent sum. Winning teams stand a chance to receive certificates that may help them to join a bigger and more competitive team if they wish to further pursue their career in Esports.

As football is a popular sport in Malaysia, FIFA the video game appeals toward many citizens of Malaysia and few small tournaments are occasionally held in small venues with the support of big companies such as Red bull, TMnet and TikTok. However, FIFA is not a popular game to hold an esport tournament due to multiple issues occurring and ridiculous requirements to even qualify to participate in the qualifiers, making FIFA least viable and unattractive for many gamer fans including the FIFA community. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is another game that is popular in Malaysia and appeals to mostly SEA players due to the game being free-to-play and accessible to everyone for iOS and Android. 

Mobile Legends has gained more popularity even among non-gaming fans due to the game being faster than its PC counterparts like League of Legends and DOTA 2 which could last up to 40 minutes. However, it has garnered a lot of hate from MOBA gamers, especially from the League of Legends community, for being a knock-off brand and trying to mimic League. Despite that, it manages to succeed and attract more casual players into the game with its low graphics and less competitive environment, making it more welcoming for new players or people who are new to the MOBA environment while not taking too long between each match which could last up to 10 minutes. Mobile Legend has held its own esports in Malaysia and has garnered more attention than FIFA in Malaysia due to Mobile Legend is designed to be more suitable for competitive play while FIFA has too many issues and is not designed for competitive play at a large scale. 

Esports are now more acceptable around the world with universities opening courses for gamers to train themselves to become a competitor and have them join competitions to show their worth. In the future, esports might be able to take over the world and introduce many more gamers to become more competitive.

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