The 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games just might see esports among its list of events after its inclusion was proposed by sports officials from the host country, the Philippines.
Esports was in Category 3 of the final list of sports events for the SEA Games that was proposed by the Philippine SEA Game Organizing Committee or PHISGOC. Esports joins the likes of arnis, floorball, jiu-jitsu, and kickboxing, among others, in its category.
It has not been specified what esports titles are to be included in the event, however.
The co-founder and CEO of gaming hardware company Razer, Min-Liang Tan, revealed in a Facebook post that he visited the Philippines to meet with the PHISGOC and discuss the inclusion of esports as one of the medal sports in the SEA Games.
Tan and his company has long been supporting and promoting esports in the region, including countries such as Malaysia and Singapore, as well as in the rest of the world through sponsorships with teams and players.
“It is incredibly exciting to see our efforts come to life. We’ll be hearing soon to see if we’re successful — so if you’re an eSports fan, keep your fingers crossed for us!” Tan said.
PHISGOC representatives will be meeting with the SEA Games Federation Council when the latter visits the country this week to inspect the proposed venue in Clark, Pampanga.
Esports was already included in the recently-concluded 2018 Asian Games, albeit as a demonstration sport and not as a medal event. Many saw it as a trial run for a potential esports exhibition exhibition event in the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Should esports be included in the SEA Games, iy will be a boon towards the industry’s efforts towards Olympic recognition.
The Philippines is one of the most active countries in esports in the SEA region as well as in Asia, with Filipino teams achieving success in esports titles such as Dota 2 and League of Legends.