Singtel announced a sponsorship for Singapore’s first Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) esports team, the appointment of Singtel PVP Ambassadors and two new amateur leagues under the PVP Esports banner to help cultivate the budding gaming and esports scene in Singapore, at a special launch event today. Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Education was the Guest of Honour at the event.
Mr Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group, said “This year will be an inflection point for the industry in Singapore and the region. The popularity of esports and gaming is increasing exponentially. Our aim is to grow the gaming ecosystem in the region, further driving recognition in Asia, to provide fans more opportunities to share in their passion. Community is a foundation of gaming and we’re excited to support them with these new initiatives. We want the community here to ‘get gaming’.”
2019 will see esports officially introduced as a medal event at the SEA Games. To aid in the grooming of Singapore’s first official cyber athletes, Singtel signed a memorandum of understanding with the Singapore Esports Association (SGEA) to provide sponsorship for Singapore’s SEA Games esports team. Besides funding for training, competitions and player stipends, there will also be a scholarship component that gives access to educational opportunities.
“Devotion to their craft, facing the rigours of intense competition, and the pursuit of excellence; there are many similarities between esports and traditional athletes,” said Mr Lang. “Having esports as a medal event in the SEA Games is clear acknowledgement for gaming and the community in the region.”
Mr Ng Chong Geng, SGEA’s President said, “SGEA is proud to work closely with a partner like Singtel, which has stepped up to bolster the local esports ecosystem in Singapore and the region. Both SGEA and Singtel are equally committed to the growth of esports in Singapore and we look forward to collaborating with other like-minded partners moving ahead.”
Singtel will also support local pioneer esports teams and players, RZR Xian, Resurgence and Asterisk* as Singtel PVP Ambassadors. All teams and players are well-respected in gaming circles and accomplished esports athletes in their respective games, having participated in tournaments internationally. These sponsorships will help support them as they continue to hone their skills and represent Singapore on the world stage. As Singtel PVP Ambassadors, they will work closely with Singtel on community engagement activities and social content development. Fans will also have opportunities to meet these local gaming heroes at future Singtel PVP gaming events.
While supporting professional players and athletes is crucial, Singtel also believes in cultivating a wider interest in gaming and growing the local community to create a strong foundation for the development of the gaming scene. This year, Singtel is doubling down on its community engagement efforts with PVP Community – two new leagues, PVP Campus and Corporate, for amateur gamers to come together for some friendly competition and celebrate in their shared love of gaming and digital entertainment.
The PVP Campus League is a local league for tertiary students. Alongside school partners, Singtel is engaging students from tertiary educational institutions across Singapore to nurture their interests and encourage them to pursue their passion for gaming in a responsible way, balancing studies and play. Gaming is a stepping stone to many interesting careers such as Game Designer, Software Developer or even Animator and Scriptwriter. The league will see teams battling it out in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang – one of the most popular mobile games in the region.
Mr Chee said, “The growth of esports and its related industries present our youth and workers with interesting job opportunities. Industry players like Singtel can play a key role to help them gain skills and knowledge to benefit from these new pathways.”
The PVP Campus League is open to all tertiary students. Official school teams will participate in school qualifiers while teams that do not officially represent any institution will be able to compete in open qualifiers.
The PVP Corporate League is a regional league open to all working professionals that will feature both Mobile Legends and DOTA 2. Gaming is a lifestyle for many young professionals today with many viewing it as a social platform as well. Through the PVP Corporate League, Singtel hopes to enable professionals, who are also gaming enthusiasts, to meet, play and interact through their common passion, fostering greater relationships between both gamers and companies in the region.
Both leagues will culminate in a finale event that celebrates all things gaming to be held in Singapore in the second half of 2019.
Through all these initiatives, Singtel is fostering a vibrant esports and gaming ecosystem holistically – at the local and regional levels. With a focus on bringing together partners who are like-minded and passionate about esports, Singtel aims to scale up on these efforts, develop more services and offer more content to gamers. Brands such as Huawei, Great Eastern, SecretLab and Razer – the official esports partner of the SEA Games – are joining Singtel on this journey. More companies will be coming on board in the weeks to come, including partners from last year’s PVP Esports Championship.
Singtel recently signed an MOU with esports giant SK Telecom to jointly grow gaming and esports in Asia. Singtel is also collaborating with Optus and regional associates Airtel, AIS, Globe and Telkomsel to expand the gaming and esports ecosystem in Southeast Asia, Australia and India. As a group, Singtel serves a market of over 200 million gamers, providing reliable data connectivity, fast speeds, and access to content.
For more information and to register for the PVP Community leagues, please visit www.pvpesports.gg.
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Asterisk* was formed in 2005 by Tammy “furryfish” Tang and Dawn “pinksheep” Yang as the world’s first all-female DotA team. The team debuted at the World Cyber Games Grand Finals in Singapore in 2005, claiming victory at the event’s stage showcase match. Asterisk* has since diversified and found success in a variety of other games. In 2017, their League of Legends (LoL) team became the first all-female LoL team to represent Singapore on the international stage at the Asian League of Legends Women’s All-Star Game held in Wuxi, China. In December 2017, their Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team became Singapore’s first women’s team to make the World Electronic Sports Games’ CS:GO Asia Pacific finals after taking champion in the SEA qualifiers. They went on to finish second in the Asia Pacific Finals.
Resurgence is the largest Singapore based professional esports organisation with a training facility and office in Singapore. In 2018, Resurgence competed in over 60 tournaments, won 17 championship wins with 36 podium finishes and consistently qualified for premier and major tournaments regionally and globally including the 2018 Asian Games and the 2018 Hearthstone Global Games at BlizzCon. The brand is modelled after the concept of supporting and uplifting esports in Singapore and Southeast Asia to achieve stellar results. Their goal is to create exciting stories and sustainable careers for professional players and content creators. Resurgence is also a part of Team Razer, a global roster of elite professional gamers supported by Razer. Find out more about Resurgence at www.resurgence.sg.
Ho Kun Xian, more famously known as ‘RZR Xian’ in esports circles, is a full-time professional fighting games player specialising in Street Fighter. He is known for placing first in Super Street Fight IV: Arcade Edition at the 2013 Evolution Championship Series, a yearly event viewed as the World Cup of fighting games. Some of his recent achievements include 1st place finishes at the Street Fighter V Final Round 20 and FTG Extreme Masters 5 tournaments in 2017, as well as a 4th place showing at the Capcom Cup 2018 held in Las Vegas.
(Image) Source: Press release