E-SPORTS (electronic sports) are set to take off in a big way with the two head honchos at AirAsia giving their full-fledged support.
According to Allan Phang, president of the AirAsia All-Stars E-Sports Club, Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes, group CEO, AirAsia Bhd, and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, executive chairman, AirAsia Bhd, have been very “visionary and supportive” when it comes to e-sports as the low-cost carrier is among the first airlines to back e-sports on a regional scale.
AirAsia was the main strategic partner of the World Electronic Sports Games Southeast Asia (WESG SEA) Regional Finals, which concluded at the Quill Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur last weekend.
Phang said AirAsia made its first foray into e-sports in 2017 with the setting up of the AirAsia All Stars E-Sports Club.
“The club had about 10 members upon its inception, but now there are more than 200 members,” said Phang, underlining the surging popularity of e-sports and its future direction.
As Agri Mind, the organisers of the WESG SEA Regional Finals, have a long-standing relationship with AirAsia, they were able to push through the initiative for the low-cost carrier to come onboard as a partner.
“AirAsia provided support in terms of flights (to the gamers), which was in support of the e-sports eco-system, in line with the government’s initiative,” said Phang.
He added that there are four key verticals of AirAsia’s role in the burgeoning e-sports arena: employee engagement, employer branding, e-sports tourism and supporting the eco-system by way of sponsorship through teams and events.
“AirAsia is targeting the next generation of consumers as it realises that the government wants to connect with the youth e-sports generation,” said Phang.