It is official. Esports (basically competitive video gaming) is officially inducted into a regional sporting event, specifically the 30th Southeast Asian Games (30th SEA Games), to be held in the Philippines. The biennial regional multi-sport event in 2019 will see eleven countries in Southeast Asia competing in a range of sports that is set to happen November 30-December 10, 2019.
It is the first time in the history, esports will be recognized as a medal sport. The announcement was made by Philippines South East Asian Games Organizing Committee (PhilSGOC) with the Philippine Olympic Committee and lifestyle gaming hardware company Razer, in a press conference on Wednesday in Pasay City.
Not surprisingly, Razer, being the leader in promoting esports, will be the official esports partner in the 30th SEA Games. Razer and the company’s co-founder Min-liang Tan has been championing esports to be recognized as a medal sports in major sporting events like this. What can I say? The definition of ‘sports’ have been redefined.
In its original sense, sport is defined as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against other or others for entertainment.” Well, with the exception of physical exertion, I guess you could saying video gaming fits the bill rather perfectly.
According to a report, esports in the next year’s SEA Games is assigned with six gold medals across three gaming platforms, namely, console, PC, and mobile, with two medals to each platform. At the point of this writing, only Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has been confirmed as one of the title.
Shooter fans don’t get their hopes high, though, because, in the spirit of the International Olympic Committee, games to be used in the sporting event should eschew violence and gambling. Awww. That’s just sad. But hey, it is a good start nonetheless.