Professional eSports players in Southeast Asia are steadily rising, emerging in the forms of Chawy (LoL competitive player for AHQ in Taiwan), Mushi (DotA2 competitive player for Fnatic) and many more. Correspondingly, many major tournaments are being held across various countries in the region, with ever-increasing prize pools and attracting more brand involvement – including brands with no direct relationships to gaming such as Red Bull and Coca Cola. Whilst this is an encouraging trend, our top gamer this week thinks there’s a long way more to go relative to the industry in China.
Jesse, or Jcs2yy in Fundeavour, plays all MOBA-type games and card games like Hearthstone, and occasionally streams in Twitch and Facebook. He also harbours dreams of becoming a full time Hearthstone streamer and attend Blizzcon at least once in the future.
“I started my gaming journey far back in 2009,” he relates. “That day, I accidentally found out about a competitive DotA tournament on the Internet. YaphetS, the legendary DotA player (http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2/YaphetS) caught my eye with his flashy gameplay of Shadow Fiend (one of the DotA heroes). He became my motivation, and I tried really hard to shape myself to become like him at that time.”
Inspired by YaphetS legendary mid-lane playstyle, and how he dominated the lane, used micro-skills and his perfect raze, Jesse watched all of his gameplay and practiced every day. “It wasn’t easy, but those efforts paid off as it strengthened my foundation in DotA,” he says. “For those who wish to start their eSports journey, they should really give their 100% as this wasn’t an easy journey!”
To him, the biggest problem faced by professional players in the SEA region is financial in nature. “Every type of gaming career in SEA doesn’t really get as well paid as in China,” he notes. “Most people have no knowledge about a gaming career, and there is a lack of stable sponsors – which makes this gaming pathway particularly tough.”
When questioned, Jesse explains further, “The pay gap between SEA players and China players are getting smaller, but the numbers we get are still very underwhelming. For instance, a professional DotA player in Malaysia is only paid RM2,000 – RM3,000 here (on a salaried basis), while China players can get as high as RM10,000, excluding big organizations like Fnatic.”
He believes the industry in China is considerably more well-developed due to its population size. “They held a lot of competitions and many organizations were willing to pay a large amount in prize pools, to attract players to join. This made the community grow really quickly. Not only were they willing to pay a team – a lot of streaming platforms were also willing to pay professional players a really huge amount, which made the eSports industry in China well-developed,” he explains.
“I think brand involvement in gaming is important and positive for those who wish to pursue their gaming pathway. Like what I said, the SEA region’s professional players often receive criticism, and people don’t really put high expectations on their shoulders due to their low pay. With lots of brand involvement in gaming, players can get a more stable paid job (in the form of playing professionally), and will be able to promote themselves better to the community,” Jesse concludes.
With the backing of new up-and-coming platforms that help promote eSports like Fundeavour, and new brands coming into the picture such as UNIQLO, we look forward to the industry growing by leaps and bounds in the coming years.
This feature was written as part of a partnership with Fundeavour, a site that helps aspiring gamers around the world to get a head start on beginning their journey as content creators, streamers and eSports players. Want to be featured and share your stories with over 20,000 readers? Check out more info here or sign up with Fundeavour.com!