E-sports may replace Olympics, SEA Games, sports minister predicts

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman said today he has plans on meeting Asean sports ministers to include e-sports in the SEA Games as he predicts it will overtake traditional sports in a decade’s time. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman said today he has plans on meeting Asean sports ministers to include e-sports in the SEA Games as he predicts it will overtake traditional sports in a decade’s time. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman said today he has plans on meeting Asean sports ministers to include e-sports in the SEA Games as he predicts it will overtake traditional sports in a decade’s time.

Speaking to the press after addressing the Youth Economic Forum 2018 today, he believes that if e-sports is not included in the traditonal international games such as SEA Games and Olympics, it will have its own “Olympics”.

“E-sports is rapidly expanding in Southeast Asia. And e-sports will play a huge role in a few years’ time in terms of job creation, passion pursuance and multi-billion advertisement revenue.

“It is a huge market and I don’t want Malaysia to be left behind, but to lead in e-sports,” he told the press.

“That’s why I plan on meeting Asean ministers or their representatives because if e-sports isn’t included in the SEA Games or Olympics, mark my words, in 10 years’ time it will have its own [international games] and the Olympics will be secondary to e-sports,” he added.

He pointed out that those who are fans of e-sports happen to be the millennial generation who are the future.

The minister also predicted that the market will move away from traditional sporting events such as the Olympics and will move to e-sports as that is where the money is.

“It is a disruptive market. If they don’t accommodate and give them a place, they will be replaced,” said Syed Saddiq.