The Most Popular Esports in Malaysia

Popular Esports

Malaysia has always been one of the central hubs for Esports in South East Asia, here are the breakdown statistics of Malaysia Esports scene

Over the years, there has been many esports emerging across the industry. What was once lauded as a childish, amateurish sport that many expect to only be a short-term fad had turned into a mega industry. In fact, the global revenue for esports as a whole for the year of 2021 is projected to have exceeded a shocking $1 billion U.S. Dollars.

Global esports revenues are expected to exceed $1 billion this year, according to Newzoo’s 2021 Global Esports & Live Streaming Market Report. The impressive figure will represent a growth rate of 14.5 per cent year-on-year from the $947.1 million generated in 2020.

Kayleigh Partleton, University of Washington

Breakdown of Esports in Malaysia

Malaysia’s early esports scene took roots in the local Internet cafes, back in the nostalgic days of World of Warcraft mods that led to Dota. Also, it was the days of the classical Source Counter Strike by Valve, so it is not surprised that the Malaysia esports scene is dominated by these two sports.

The chart above show that the local scene is heavily dominated by Dota 2. Another unsurprising fact is the shocking disparity in earnings in Dota 2 considering it is the game with the largest prize pool. Some of the largest earners in Dota 2 includes:

  • xNova (Yap Jian Wei): $1,898,565.19
  • Midone (Yeik Nai Zheng): $1,800,269.69
  • NothingToSay (Cheng Jin Xiang): $1,172,676.53
  • Mushi (Chai Yee Fung): #$,026,987.67
  • Ahfu (Chai Tue Soon): $797,357.60
Most Popular sports betting options in Malaysia

The popularity of Dota 2 cannot be toppled, but there are also many developing pro scenes in Malaysia in Hearthstone, Counter Strike, League of Legends, and more.

Malaysia has a League of Legends national team roster featuring players Shiro, Qaspiel, Arrhedge, Xare, Ozoraveki, and Xeno. They took the champion trophy in 2018 HyperPlay League of Legends tournament.

Next Generation of Malaysian Esports

The second Malaysia Esports Championship 2020/2021 (MEC) began on December
14, 2021 with a total of 4,871 players currently registered. Esports
Integrated (ESI) continues its efforts to build strategic partnerships with
industry players to provide opportunities for the local gaming community and
grow the thriving scene in Malaysia.

In addition, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile (PUBG Mobile) teams will
compete through 3 phases of qualifying competitions during MEC 2021/2022,
which the champion will automatically go through into PUBG Mobile
Professional League (PMPL) Season 5 Qualifier Finals.

Furthermore, media reported that a memorandum of understanding was agreed between Serba Dinamik Group Bhd and other major stakeholders to develop Selangor Esports City, Malaysia’s first comprehensive eSports development centre.

In 2019 alone, it was reported that Malaysians spent RM2.7 billion on gaming. Despite the government’s decision to decrease budget allocation on eSports from RM20 million in 2020 to RM15 mil lion this year, the growth of the industry is expected to increase steadily, making Malaysia one of the main market leaders in the South-East Asian region.

There are over 20 million gamers in the country and the industry is on the rise. The question now is not “if”, but rather “how” to thrive in the complex and also highly rewarding eSports industry.

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