ESPORTS or electronic sports is going big time in Penang when the Penang Esports Festival (PEF) 2019 is held for the first time on Sept 7 and 8 at the Setia SPICE Arena.
State Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said PEF would offer RM75,000 in prize money.
Esports is one of the fastest growing revenue streams in the Southeast Asian market with an estimated US$40 million worth by the year 2020 in advertising and sponsorship, merchandising and ticketing, as well as media rights.
“PEF strives to tap into this market and become one of the top esports events in the region, targeting over 10 million esports fans in Malaysia and beyond.
“PEF also aims to position Penang as the gaming and esports hub in Malaysia while promoting Penang as a top tourist destination for the youth,” Yeoh told a press conference in Komtar today.
Also present at the press conference were Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, state executive councillors Phee Boon Poh, Jagdeep Singh Deo, Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain, Dr Afif Bahardin and Soon Lip Chee, Penang Global Tourism chief executive officer Ooi Chok Yan and Sozo Pte Ltd managing director Shawn Chin.
At the PEF, participants will compete in popular games such as Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, TEKKEN 7, Super Smash Bros, Ultimate, SOULCALIBUR VI, FIFA 19, Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 and more.
For those who are unable to witness the tournament, there will be live streaming of selected mobile game and fighting game matches made available via Twitch, a live streaming platform for gamers.
“It will enable gaming fans to partake and discuss the matches being played at PEF simultaneously where an estimated 20,000 viewers are expected to connect live then,” Yeoh added.
Organised by Sozo Pte Ltd, the inaugural PEF 2019 is presented by the state government with the support of PETACH (state Tourism, Arts, Culture & Heritage office) and Penang Global Tourism.
The partners of the festival are Eliphant, Flash Vision Esport, GameStart Asia and Kitamen.
The organisers are also lining up several events to delight the fans, such as enabling them to take part in stage talks, business seminars, networking sessions to learn from major gaming industry personalities and esports athletes.
The fans can also have the chance to meet popular cosplayers like Hiko (Taiwan), Clarissa Punipun (Indonesia) and Ying Tze (Malaysia).
Story by K.H. Ong
Pix by Darwina Mohd Daud
Video by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis