Petra Jaya potential integrated sports hub

KUCHING: Petra Jaya area, which is surrounded by various sports facilities, has the potential to be an integrated sports hub.

Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan said possibly facilities for electronic sports (eSports) will be included too.

“There are many young esports experts in Sarawak, but there is no platform for them to play.

“So, if there is an eSports hub, definitely we can create an opportunity for them at the same time producing more talents,” he said during South East Asia Games State Selection Final 2019 at CityONE Megamall, on Saturday night.

He said despite eSports being quite new, Sarawak was picking up very fast in these computer and mobile-related games.

Snowdan (centre) and Afiq (second right) during the South East Asia Games State Selection Final 2019 at CityONE Megamall, while others look on.

“It is a great effort by Sarawak E-sports Association (SESA) for creating this eSports competition where local players have the platform to compete and represent Malaysia in the upcoming 2019 South East Asia Games (SEA Games) in Manila, the Philippines from Nov 30 to Dec 11.

“To all the players and SESA you have the full support from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, so continue to do your best and make Sarawak proud,” the Balai Ringin assemblyman stressed.

He said eSports is not just a game, but there are many professional players who have made good incomes from the competitions they won.

On another note, Snowdan said, as eSports has become popular among the youth today, they are also advised not to forget the other outdoor sports such as football, badminton, swimming and others.

“Players must have a check and balance; is it not good for your health if you just sit and play games either on your computer or mobile phones,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, he said an Esports Sarawak League would be organised by end of this year, and the Sarawak government will be sponsoring the top three prizes where winners for first, second and third prize will bring home RM5,000, RM3,000 and RM2,000 respectively.

The state selection saw a total of 289 players from Kuching and 154 players from Miri competing in five esports games namely DOTA2, Mobile Legeng: Bang Bang and Tekken 7 here.

Champions will then compete in Kuala Lumpur for the national selection by end of this month, followed by the international level tournament in the Philippines.

SESA president Afiq Fadhli Narawi was also present.