MANILA, Philippines – Esports continues to thrive even during the coronavirus pandemic as the Razer Southeast Asian (SEA) Invitational gathers the best players in the region to prepare them for the 2021 SEA Games.
Ten SEA countries will duke it out in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Dota 2, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile (PUBGM) in a tournament that will start on Monday, June 22, and conclude with the finals from July 3 to 5.
Adjusting to restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the SEA Invitational will stage all of its games with participants playing remotely online instead of the players gathering in one venue.
“The SEA Invitational this year will provide another round of competition and learning opportunities for the 10 participating countries and their athletes,” Razer global esports director David Tse said.
Esports made history last year when it became a medal event in the 2019 SEA Games, with gold medals up for grabs in 6 games.
The Philippines dominated the esports event at home soil as it captured gold medals in Mobile Legends, Dota 2, and Starcraft II, while Malaysia and Thailand bagged one and two gold medals, respectively.
Although PUBGM was not a medal game in the SEA Games, Razer included it for the SEA Invitational due to its popularity in the region.
“While many sports leagues have been canceled, many esports tournaments continue by shifting online,” Tse said.
“The Razer SEA Invitational is another testament to the strong adaptability of esports, not just as a sport, but as an ecosystem.”
Problems like connection issues might arise due to the remote setting, but Tse said they put ample time in the planning process with national esports federations.
“There may be technical considerations, like latency, for the tournament, but we are confident about connection stability as all countries participating are within the same region,” Tse said.
Aside from the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia, the other competing nations are Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Brunei, Laos and Myanmar.
“This is our first step in establishing an inclusive and fair platform for all SEA countries, as well as to build the momentum through our vision of having esports in the Olympic Games,” Tse said. – Rappler.com