Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports launches new Esports Integrated Initiative

Esports Integrated, a brand new initiative has recently been announced by the Malaysian KBS or Ministry of Youth and Sports. They laid out a new roadmap that is supposed to help build and support the esports ecosystem in Malaysia.

Currently, Malaysia isn’t exactly a big name in esports. Despite plenty of esports athletes hailing from Malasyia and a grassroots scene for more then a decade, the community has not had much governmental support in years past despite budding interest in the communities, especially those of younger people.

ESI, another name for Esports Integrated, is powered by Impact Integrated, which in itself is a conglomerate that promotes social impact plans, digital media, and similar platforms in partnership with the Malaysian government. The new concept and partnership is looking promising and interesting to say the least.

Esports Integrated Initiative

© ESI

The Esports Integrated plan

With the announcement of the Esports Integrated plan came a series of initiatives. They include things like a platform to manage and centralise the existing esports ecosystem. It should include a completely online-based tournament engine and form the basis of the Malaysian Esports Circuit. It will be followed by a new annual esports Conference and Summit series, the first iterations of which are set to take place later this year, provided that the public safety situation at the time allows it.

Additionally, Esports Integrated is also pursuing less tangible plans – such as advocating for improved regulatory frameworks and guidelines. Both are direly necessary, not just in Malaysia, but in the esports field internationally.

For their more long-term plans, ESI is also going to be building up an industry capacity programme that will aim to upskill members of the esports industry, such as event organisers, team managers and coaches. Esports education is an often neglected part of the ‘esports machine’. The program creators recognize this and the first steps are meant to be taken in 2021.

Reezal Merican, minister of Youth and Sports stated:

“KBS is proud to work together with ESI to build The National Esports Roadmap, catalysing the growth of the Esports industry in Malaysia. With the rise of Esports in the region, these initiatives will not only create opportunities to upskill our youth but also provide a platform to develop and improve the Esports industry in the country.”

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ESI held a press conference where they laid out their future plans, as well as explaining their vision for the future of the esports industry in Malaysia. The goal is to establish an ecosystem that enables safe and stable growth without neglecting the members of the industry, as has happened in other regions. Esports giants like the US and Korea are playing catchup in regards to player and industry professional’s rights and protections.

Malaysia wants to build and maintain a stable and sustainable system from the get-go.

While there is an official esports budget from the Malaysian government, it “only” equates to about 4 million euros. That’s an incredibly small segment of the billion dollar global esports market. The country does have the potential to grow – esports in Malaysia are on the rise, and have been for the last few years.