How the pandemic accelerated the growth of online gaming in Malaysia
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world in significant ways, leading to new norms such as working and socialising from home.
The sports industry has been greatly affected, with many events being cancelled or postponed and restrictions on physical activity.
However, the popularity of eSports has grown during the pandemic as it can be done remotely, making it a viable alternative for sporting events.
eSports refers to video game competitions that have evolved into professional sport with many similarities to traditional sports.
The eSports industry is expected to continue to grow in popularity beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Malaysia has invested RM45 million in the development of eSports from 2019 to 2021, with an additional RM20 million allocated in the budget for 2022. Esports training centres have been established, and universities offer esports programmes and modules.
Malaysia has produced professional esports competitors who have won global and Asian championships, and esports were featured in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Successful streamers with over one million followers can attract thousands of viewers and earn money from subscriptions and stars.
The eSports industry is expected to generate $3 billion yearly and reach 300 million global viewers by 2022.
The market is expected to continue to grow post-pandemic, with hybrid events combining online and offline components becoming increasingly popular.
The industry is supported by advertisements, sponsorships, and broadcasting rights, which account for 90% of its revenue.
Malaysia is investing in the gaming industry, with universities offering courses in game design, and the government is promoting eSports as a future economic driver.
The popularity of eSports has gained considerable attention from marketers, sponsors, streamers, and players, and it is becoming increasingly well-known worldwide.
As a result, it is important for experts in sports administration to be fully prepared for all chances and obstacles, as the discourse of contemporary sports is subject to ongoing change.
The rise of eSports has increased sponsor interest and team professionalism and several major sports are now incorporating it into their offerings.
Overall, the eSports market is expected to continue to prosper and generate millions of dollars in income yearly.
Source: Chee-Ngee Lim, Yen-Nee Goh, Salmi Mohd Isa, Ramayah Thurasamy & Norazah Mohd Suki, 2023, Post Covid-19 Pandemic And The Rise Of eSports In Malaysia, Volume 19, Issue 7, DOI: https://doi.org/10.17576/ebangi.2022.1907.18