Monday, 31 December 2012
[Editorial] Malaysian eSports in 2012
If there was one thing about Malaysia in 2012 to give a huge shoutout to, it would for me indisputably be about our eSports industry, and thus this post dedicated to our rising talents and to all those behind the scenes managing and organising.
Though I myself am definitely not a pro gamer, not even close, competitive gaming have always (well since a few years back) caught my attention. The eSports scene is huge, if not globally played and globally appreciated. Of course, this could only be possible for the number of quality online PC games available, with massive titles like DOTA 2 (my personal favourite), Counter Strike: Global Offensive, FIFA and the now up and coming World of Tanks.
You notice that most of them have been around for years and have been regularly updated, improved and some even recently relaunched to fit in with current trends. Through the years each of them have caught attention of an increasingly massive fan base, each serving its own scope of avid players and each breeding new sets of professional, highly-skilled masters of the game – ultimately creating an online phenomenon of the eSports industry today.
But that’s another thought for another day.
Malaysia, despite only in recent years gained access to a high-speed broadband (and even now still limited to the main cities), isn’t far behind when it comes to the standard of our professional gamers and the extend of what we have achieved.
ProfessionalsChampionships were won, top placings were earned, but more importantly, experience and progress were invaluably gained. 2012 saw some of our top teams, including emerging professionals racing for some of the most prestigious, international titles globally. We may not be a jack of all trades, but we surely are a master in arguably the largest division of the entire eSports industry – the MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arena) like DOTA, LoL and HoN. Oh gosh, those initials, talk about the similarities they carry (pun intended).
Let’s start off with Orange eSports DOTA. After a few changes in lineups and the big news of Mushi deciding to shift to coaching, the professional team has grown from strength to strength as they went all out, travelled the seas, across the globe, all the way to the largest international DOTA 2 tournament, The International. Competing with 16 of the world’s top DOTA 2 teams with $1Million at stake, you could say it was an embodiment of what the DOTA eSports scene truly was, and an achievement itself for Orange eSports already.
But Orange isn’t the only professional DOTA 2 team we’ve got. 2012 finally saw the re-emergence of MUFC as an independent team once again after many crucial changes in lineups. If anything, MUFC used to arguably be Malaysia’s top DOTA 2 team until Orange came about and recruited some of its most precious talents. But that’s another story, and for another day. This year, despite having lost several opportunities already and in particularly missing The International, MUFC finally ended the year with a high note as they stormed DOTA 2 The Asia with an impressive set of display, being the only team who was completely undefeated during the group stages and finally earning 2nd among all the best teams regionally.
While both Orange and MUFC continued to carry our nation’s DOTA pride, KL Hunters, Malaysia’s first professional League of Legends team, brought us an icon, a hope and a belief for us to root for in the League of Legends eSport division. Apart from Orange eSports, KL Hunters seem to be a professional team ready for some serious competitive gaming as sponsored by Garena themselves have led the team to a strong foundation of essential training sessions, strategy meetings and even, fitness workouts (huge kudos to that!).
TournamentsBut ultimately, professional gamers are nothing without a platform for them to shine. And it is these tournaments that truly bring out the talents of the eSports scene. However, most major tournaments have always been held internationally and our gamers have to fork out their personal savings (unless they have a sponsor) just to travel abroad and compete. Being on a world stage is, to say the least, a huge opportunity and should well be deserved for anyone who have already reached the capability of competing with the top. But the costs just to travel and to accommodate is sky-high expensive.
With this factor limiting our potential talents to unleash their skills, it inadvertently setbacks our eSports industry if we continue to fail to get a globally-recognised tournament together on Malaysian grounds (or we could also encourage more sponsors, we'll get back to this later).
But we prevailed.
In 2012 itself, Malaysia had the honour of hosting some of the world’s most prestigious and most closely- watched tournaments, from the likes of WCG Asian Championships to DOTA 2 The Asia. Both, were huge. Ushering in massive crowds and spurring an emerging phenomenon in Malaysia, the hosting of such prominent tournaments simply breathed a fresh new air into our Malaysian eSports scene – bringing hope, faith, and dreams all together for the future.
The FutureAt TheShadowGamer.com, we truly believe that our eSports industry is growing. Already ranking 6th in the International eSports Federation, our teams are certainly a formidable force on the world stage, while 2012 also brought the spotlight over to Malaysia with the prestigious tournaments held on local grounds.
But there definitely is more with our potential. The Malaysian eSports industry still holds a big gap for many more opportunities to come. Sponsoring our local professional teams for one is a huge prospect for companies to seriously consider as after all, these teams are the icon of the games, the idols of gamers, and essentially our nation’s flag bearers in the international stage. Companies out there should realise that there is great potential in using our teams as their marketing platform. After all, our strongest teams are known internationally, around the world.
That said, though we simply as an independent site dedicated to everything gaming, do not have the money for sponsorship, we ultimately do have some resources to give our strongest share of support, and here’s how.
Starting 2013, we have decided that we are going to give a larger focus on the Malaysian eSports Industry than we did this year. And what will this mean to you? Well, for a start, you will be seeing more consistent news/updates relating to our professional teams and their appearances in tournaments. But at the same time, we will be dedicating some time aside to work closely with some of of our up and coming professional gaming teams, and with this we truly wish to give our biggest form of support.
Hence, if you’re professionally gaming or are on the verge to be, and would like some media spotlight or coverage on your performances, simply send us a short message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to discuss on how as a media partner we can help you.
Till then, have a wonderful, new year!