Brunei Darussalam’s competitive gaming or E-Sports scene has shown significant growth and promise despite its recent emergence.

This was said by the InfoCom Federation Brunei (IFB) Chairman Sheikh Hj Abas Sheikh Mohamad during the launch of the first Brunei E-Sports Championship 2020 competition on Friday.

L-R: , Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dato Hj Ali Apong, Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof and Chairman of IFB Sheikh Hj Abas Sheikh Mohamad offically launching the 2020 E-Sport Championship held at Bridex, Jerudong. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

Held at BRIDEX in Jerudong, the inaugural three-day tournament has close to 600 gamers taking part, hailing from all corners of the sultanate.

“E-Sports is now a multi-billion-dollar industry globally, and especially in Southeast Asia where E-Sports has become a highly popular sport among the youths,” said Sheikh Hj Abas in his welcoming speech.

Chairman of IFB Sheikh Hj Abas Sheikh Mohamad delivering his welcoming remarks during the official opening ceremony of the 2020 E-Sport Championship held at Bridex, Jerudong. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

This is apparent from the inclusion of E-Sports at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Manila, which he added is a “testament to the immense popularity of E-Sports in this region”.

“With Vietnam, next year to include E-Sports in the up-coming 31st SEA Games, (it) proves that E-Sports is here to stay for the long run,” he continued.

One of the main objectives of the Brunei E-Sports Championship 2020 competition is to develop and nurture Brunei local talents on E-athletics for them to be able to compete in both local and international levels.

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dato Hj Ali Apong and the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin taking a closer look at a player demonstrating the gameplay layout during the official opening ceremony of the 2020 E-Sport Championship held at Bridex, Jerudong. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

Winners have the benefit of being trained to represent Brunei Darussalam, in the SEA Games next year.

Speaking on the development of E-Sports and E-athletics in Brunei, Sheikh Hj Abas said that there has been positive signs if growth in this sector despite “just coming into existence”.

“The past two years, we have witnessed a high number of tournaments being organised and increased sponsorships from the private sector,” he explained.

“This is to ensure that our local E-athletes are well-equipped to compete regionally and globally, and ultimately win gold medals for our beloved country,” he added.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin (2nd R) having a friendly match game of Tekken 7 with the Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof (R) during the official opening ceremony of the 2020 E-Sport Championship held at Bridex, Jerudong. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

“It is hoped that this tournament would drive more youths into competitive gaming and hopefully become the next Bruneian E-athlete competing in the international arena, carrying the Brunei flag,” the chairman went on to say.

The championship will showcase three major gaming categories; PC, Mobile and Console, featuring an overall of four games, which are based on game titles that were featured in the 30th SEA Games last year in Manila, Philippines.

The game titles include PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Tekken 7, Dota 2 with 512, 50, 13, and 15 players expected to participate in each title, respectively. With that said, the championship has a prize pool of $15,000 to be won.

A gamer demonstrates his gaming abilities during the official opening ceremony of the 2020 E-Sport Championship held at Bridex, Jerudong. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

Alongside the IFB, a non-profit organisation that serves as the voice of Brunei Darussalam’s ICT industry, the championship is co-organised with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) and the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC).

On the other hand, the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI) and the E-Government National Centre (EGNC) will play the role of event supporters while the Esports Association Brunei will be working closely with the federation as a technical partner.

Image: Fazizul Haqimie

The Brunei E-Sports Championship will take place from December 25 to 27 at the BRIDEX Hall 2 in Jerudong, from 10am until 10pm.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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