Don’t pinch athletes from other states for Sukma, says Penang exco man

STATES competing in Sukma XX Johor 2020 should not pinch athletes from another state, says Penang executive councillor Soon Lip Chee.

The state Youth and Sports Committee chairman stressed that he was against any state ‘borrowing’ athletes just for the sake of winning medals and glory.

“For Penang, I want all the state sports association to hold open selection trials to be fair to the Penang athletes,” Soon, who is also Bagan Jermal assemblyman, told a press conference at Dewan Sri Pinang before attending the State Legislative Assembly sitting today.

Penang finished seventh overall in the 19th Sukma in Perak last year with 32 gold, 30 silver and 31 bronze medals.

Terengganu emerged champions with 56 gold, 51 silver and 53 bronze medals, followed by Federal Territory (52-38-50), Selangor (47-68-67), Sarawak (42-36-60), Perak (37-50-55) and Pahang (33-20-30).

After Penang, the other states were Sabah (32-28-46), Johor (29-34-37), Kedah (19-20-29), Melaka (18-18-18), Negri Sembilan (13-18-43), Perlis (12-7-13) and Bruei (0-1-3).

The press conference was held to announce a DOTA 2 Sukma Johor 2020 Selection Competition to be held at Dreamhack.com Cyber Cafe Farlim (Penang island) and E-space Gaming World Cyber Cafe, Raja Uda (Seberang Perai) on Dec 14 and 15 for the preliminary round.

The final round of the competition will be held at Dreamhack.com Cyber Cafe Farlim on Dec 22 from 9am to 9pm.

Soon (centre) showing a poster promoting DOTA 2 competition for eSports enthusiasts at Dewan Sri Pinang. With him are (from left) Thoy, Ng, Lee and Hung.

Soon said athletes who did not qualify for Sukma should not give up hope but aimed to represent the  state in other local and international tournaments.

He said eSports would be introduced for the first time in Sukma next year and as such, Penang, would be preparing to form their first eSports team based on the results of the DOTA 2 competition.

He advised participants not to be addicted to the digital game but trained themselves by undergoing a proper system.

“They should not be playing the game for 24 hours a day without eating, sleeping or bathing. Playing the game 24 hours a day won’t make you a champion. In fact, it’s bad for health,” Soon advised.

The state government, through the Penang Youth Development Corporation (PYDC), and with the cooperation of the Air Itam service centre and Bagan Jermal service centre, Penang State Sports Council and Penang eSports Association, will hold the DOTA 2 competition for youths aged 15 to 20. It is open only to those born in Penang.

The competition, open to a maximum 32 teams, offers RM5,000 for the champion, RM3,500 for the runner-up, RM2,000 for the third placed team and RM1,000 for the fourth placed team. Each team is to comprise six players, including a reserve.

The entry fee is RM50 per team.

“The competition is a good platform for eSports lovers to exhibit their skills and get selected to represent Penang. It can also unearth many e-sports athletes who can go on to represent the country.

“I hope parents and schools will encourage the youths to get involved with this initiative by the state government,” Soon said.

Also present at the press conference were Air Itam assemblyman Joseph Ng, Machang Bubok assemblyman Lee Khai Loon (who is also PYDC director), PYDC general manager Thoy Siew Ping and Phidisk Sdn Bhd chairman and chief executive officer Kendrick Hung.

Ng said they planned to have an eSports league in every district next year, culminating with a grand final at the end of the year.

Hung said Phidisk would sponsor Penang eSports team to Sukma XX in Johor.

For details on the DOTA 2 competition, visit http://bit.ly/DOTA2 SUKMA2020 or contact PYDC via WhatsApp +60124010186, phone +604-263 6111 or email [email protected]

Story by K.H. Ong

Pix by Adleena Rahaya Ahmad Radzi