KUALA LUMPUR: When he was appointed as Sports Minister five months ago, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman made establishing an eSports Stadium as part of his plans.
He has since identified two likely sites for this project.
Last September, Syed Saddiq spoke of the Jalan Raja Muda Stadium in Kampung Baru as a potential hub but he has since revealed that AirAsia is set to open Asean’s first eSports Arena in Klang.
“AirAsia is doing an exceptional job, they will start the first (eSports Arena) in Klang, so you can see the expansion happening, the private sector and also by the government,” said Syed Saddiq.
Syed Saddiq said these “stadiums” will not be micromanaged by his ministry but they will instead appoint an affiliate.
“I’m not a fan of having the ministry micromanage it, I want it to be industry driven. I had a short conversation with MDEC (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation) chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood and they have a network with the industry players, so I want them to run it, we will provide it,” he said.
Syed Saddiq felt that eSports will be a medal potential for Malaysia at the 2019 Sea Games in the Philippines.
“We’ve been fighting, lobbying to ensure eSports is included, not just as a demo but medal sport, and we’ve been briefed recently that it will be included in the medal tally.
“We’ll be pushing for even more, not just Sea Games but for Asian and Commonwealth Games, and the Olympics because the young population that follow eSports is massive.”