Singtel inks agreement to grow regional gaming at first e-sports tournament

Gamers at Singtel's inaugural e-sports competition held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Some of the world's top gamers battled it out over the past three days in Singtel's inaugural e-sports competition, which saw the telco take strides towards becoming a major regional player in the gaming space.

The sold-out event saw more than 3,000 attendees, while e-sports commentators broadcasting in seven languages online drew more than three million global viewers at its peak.

Six professional teams were among the 18 that competed in two main events at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre for a prize pool of US$300,000 (S$414,698).

Team Secret from Europe, which won first place in popular online video game Dota 2 on Sunday (Oct 7), took home US$80,000 (S$110,586).

Thai team Alpha X, meanwhile, won the US$40,000 (S$55,293) top prize in the mobile battle arena game Arena Of Valor.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu toured the gaming halls on Sunday. The PVP eSports Championship also saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Singtel, its subsidiary Optus and regional associates Airtel, AIS, Globe and Telkomsel to grow the gaming and e-sports ecosystem in South-east Asia, Australia and India.

The six members of the Singtel Group committed to scaling up content creation and distribution, and to develop solutions and services for gamers, including access to local, regional and global e-sports competitions.

Singtel's international group chief executive Arthur Lang said at the signing that more than 200 million of the firms' combined 720 million subscribers are frequent gamers.

And with the growth of mobile games in particular, there is "a tremendous amount of opportunity" for telcos, he said.

The response to its PVP (player versus player) event has been encouraging, said Mr Lang.

Going forward, potential opportunities include working with game developers to promote games and offering testing of upcoming mobile games to customers, he said.

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