HARD work has paid off big time for electronic sports (eSports) practitioners, enthusiasts, and advocates!

The prize?

For the first time in the history of eSports and the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, this coming 2019, eSports will be recognized and played as a medal event in competition.

Another good thing for Filipinos, the Philippines will host the 2019 SEA Games edition.

And for fans and users of Razer, the “world’s leading lifestyle brand for gamers” will be the official eSports partner of the international sporting competition featuring 11 country.

p_20181128_125640.jpgThe leaders and movers behind the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019 to be hosted by the Philippines. They are from PhilSGOC, POC, and Razer, official eSports partner. (EKU)

Razer executives and Filipino leaders involved in the organizing of the SEA Games announced these twin developments on November 28 at Marriott Hotel Manila, Pasay City, Metro Manila.

The good news should be particularly an uplifting one for the Singaporean eSports company established in 2005 by Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan and Robert Krakoff, president, as Razer has been supporting various teams for their participation in eSports competitions around the world.

And presently, the gaming company supports 18 champion teams from 25 countries. It is not for naught.

“Team Razer athletes have won over US$10 million in prize money in the past two years alone. Razer has over 50 million registered users who use its ecosystem of high-performance gaming products and services,” the company said in a statement released during the announcement.

It can be recalled that for the past one year, Tan spearheaded the initiative to elevate eSports to a recognized medal event in the SEA Games 2019.

The company even had a delegation that the Razer CEO led in meetings with the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PhilSGOC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee as they worked to achieve the goal.

At the event, Tan cited the significance to Razer of eSports becoming a medal sport at SEA Games.

P_20181128_114024PhilSGOC Chairman Allan Peter Cayetano and TV5 head Vicente “Chot” Reyes. (EKU)

“eSports has been the essence of Razer ever since we were founded, and we have supported countless global events, tournaments, teams, and athletes over the past decade and a half,” he pointed out.

“The sportsmanship and fighting spirit seen in eSports is no less than that of other sports, and we’ve fought hard for its inclusion in an international sporting event like the SEA Games 2019.”

Razer becoming the official eSports partner of the SEA Games next year is a milestone for the company in its long-running quest to boost eSports global status. And it is not a surprise at all considering that the gaming brand has been a huge figure in competitive gaming for over 10 years as it established a market-leading position “thanks to the trust placed by the world’s top eSports athletes in its high-performance hardware.”

The inclusion of eSports as a medal event marks an important step towards legitimizing eSports as a true world-class sporting contest, engaging a new generation of gaming fans.

Tan reported at the announcement that eSports is the entertainment of choice and an aspiration for youth and millennials, what with over 2.3 billion gamers across the world.

He said 71 percent of millennials (those of the age bracket 22 to 37 years old in 2018, born 1981 to 1986) are proud to call themselves millennials.

Another thing, the worldwide eSports audience is predicted to grow to a whopping 276 million by 2022, with eSports seen to turn into a billion-dollar industry in 2019.

Razer, being the official eSports partner of next year’s SEA Games, commits to drawing upon its expertise in eSports, as well as its ecosystem covering hardware, software and services to support the eSport tournament at the sporting event.

The company, with two headquarters in Singapore and the United States, will facilitate discussions involving PhilSGOC and various game publishers to select the games that will be featured at the SEA Games eSports tournament.

It was learned at the announcement that there will be six competitions involving eSports. The final line-up of titles to be contested will be revealed in the succeeding months.

Razer will also be supporting the final crop of Team Philippines eSports athletes as representatives of the host country at the finals.

This early, Razer and PhilSGOC have already been engaged in talks involving some of the world’s biggestnames in gaming as they work towards an exciting roster of titles that will engage fans of all genres.

For a game partner in the SEA Games 2019, the first announced by Razer and PhilSGOC is Moonton, the publisher behind the hugely popular title “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.”

The two organizations will announce soon the other game partners as they call on game publishers, aspiring athletes, and everyone else in the eSports community to take advantage of the opportunity and participate in the promotion of eSports in the sEA Games 2019, “an unprecedented international eSports event.”

Here’s what Tan said in a Tweet about the milestone:

​”Today is a momentous day for gamers. Our talks with the SEA Games committee have paid off — esports will be recognized as a medaled sport in one of the most revered multi-sport event in South East Asia. Additionally, we’re thrilled to be made the official esports partner for the 2019 SEA Games that will be held in the Philippines.

“This is especially meaningful for us at Razer. We’ve been one of the pioneers of esports, and we have always believed that professional gamers put in as much blood, sweat, and tears to achieve competitive proficiency in their field. Scientifically, sports science methodologies have been proven to be as effective, and have formed a part of the training regime for competitive players.

“This is why we toiled alongside our gamers for years – from developing hardware that offers them the competitive edge, to providing financial and marketing support to the top gaming teams in the world. To bring gaming to the masses and have it stand shoulder-to-shoulder next to traditional ‘sweat-sports’ is nothing short of a milestone for us. We look forward to taking esports to the next level—an event that’s not just recognized, but celebrated around the world.” (Razer)