Razer to be e-sports partner for 2019 SEA Games

Audience members watch an e-sports tournament during the Game XP 2018 at the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Sept 6, 2018
Audience members watch an e-sports tournament during the Game XP 2018 at the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Sept 6, 2018PHOTO: REUTERS

Razer announced yesterday it will be the official e-sports partner for next year's SEA Games in the Philippines, where e-sports is set to make its debut in the biennial meet.

The Singapore gaming hardware manufacturing company revealed that its co-founder and chief executive officer Tan Min-Liang has "led the rally to elevate e-sports to a recognised medal event". Its delegation met the country's organising committee, PhilSGOC, and its Olympic committee on multiple occasions to work towards this goal.

Tan said: "E-sports 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."

Razer supports 18 champion teams with players from 25 countries, winning over US$10 million (S$13.7 million) in prize money in the past two years.

It will also draw on its ecosystem of hardware, software and services.

This includes facilitating discussions between PhilSGOC and various publishers. The first partner is Moonton, the publisher behind the popular Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. The final line-up will be revealed in the next few months.

Razer will also support the host's e-sports athletes at the Games.

While e-sports is on the list of 56 sports slated for the Games, Singapore National Olympic Council secretary-general Chris Chan clarified that along with ju-jitsu, kurash, skateboarding and surfing, it still has to apply, complete with endorsement either from international or Asian federations by Dec 7, to get approval.

According to market researchers Newzoo, there are more than 2.3 billion gamers worldwide, including 71 per cent of millennials.

The global e-sports audience is expected to reach 276 million by 2022, and e-sports itself is projected to be a billion-dollar industry by next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2018, with the headline 'Razer to be e-sports partner for 2019 SEA Games'. Print Edition | Subscribe