Some of the participants playing a trading card game: Image: Faza Suraj

More than 600 local gamers took part in Brunei E-Sports Tournament (BEST 2019) recently with organiser Game On keen to have a more inclusive roster of games in the future, catering to the sultanate’s ever-growing gaming community.

The heavy downpour did not stop game enthusiasts to drop by Indah Hall of Peak Performance to witness gamers duking it out with one another as they battle to get their hands in the prize pool which amounted to more than $7,000.

In an interview with The Bruneian, Game On Founder Amar Agus Din said that the third edition of the BEST had attracted its biggest crowd yet; with more than 2,000 people coming to the two-day event, double the number of visitors from when the tournament was first established in 2017.

Competitors in a Tekken match. Image: Faza Suraj
A player seen holding some Pokemon trading card game. Image: Faza Suraj

“As we enter our third year of the tournament, and with the growing number of E-sports event organisers, there is sort of increased consciousness of E-sports in Brunei, and we see that reflected in the number of players and visitors to our event, which has multiplied,” he said.

With this heightened awareness, Amar believed that it is important for Game On, to diversify its offerings, by adding to their game selections and involving new communities that are often found overlapping with gamer groups.

“We wanted to do something different, which is why we included Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Warcry (a tabletop game) tournaments in this year’s BEST, which in all honesty, was a risk because we could not be sure of the level of participation”.

Competitors seen in a racing game. Image: Faza Suraj
Players seen enjoying their time during a tabletop game. Image: Faza Suraj

Fortunately, Super Smash Bros Ultimate garnered a great number of players, with 32 participants when Amar only expected about 16.

The tabletop games arena dubbed the Colosseum also proved to be a hit, gathering tabletop gamers of different segments; from warfare and strategy, role-play to collectible card games.

“These sections of the gaming communities look to be strong and tight-knit and it shows that these communities exist and they are supportive enough of the E-sports movement by competing. You will definitely see more of them in the future”.

Players seen focusing on their mobile games. Image: Faza Suraj
Winners and participants of the tournament. Image: Faza Suraj

Moving forward, Amar wants to involve other communities like the comic book and action figure fandoms, hoping to collaborate with other events such as Infinity Con and attract more gamers from other countries, as BEST 2019 saw the participation of players from Malaysia and even Japan.

The tournament games featured in BEST 2019 include Fortnite, FIFA 20, Gran Turismo, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Warcry.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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