Esports at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games

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at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games
Electronic sports pictogram.svg
VenueTBA, Metro Manila

Esports will be featured as a medal sport at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines in a yet to be announced venue within Metro Manila.[1] It will be the first time that esports will be contested as a medal event in a multi-sport competition sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee after the discipline featured as a demonstration sport in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Six medals will be contested in esports while a single demonstration event will also be held.

Esports in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games is accredited by the Asian Electronic Sports Federation.[2]


Philippines SEA Games Organizing Committee-Razer press conference held on November 28, 2018 where the inclusion of esports in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games was announced.

Esports' inclusion in the Southeast Asian Games was lobbied by Min-Liang Tan, CEO of Singapore-based gaming firm Razer. Tan announced in November 2018 that he has met with Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee chair Alan Peter Cayetano in Metro Manila to discuss about the possible inclusion of Esports in the regional games. Esports was among the "Category 3" disciplines included in final list of proposed events to be hosted in the games.[3]

An ad hoc committee was formed to organize the esports events in the games. Razer will also provide support in terms of software, hardware, and services in the organization of the esports events.[4]

By December 14, 2018, the national federation of esports has formally sought formal inclusion in the games from the esports international federation.[5]

The esport tournaments of the Southeast Asian Games will be open to competitors of both genders with every aspiring participant to partake in a qualification tournaments.[6]

Video game title selection[edit]

Six medals are to be contested in esports. The selected titles will have to conform to the values of the International Olympic Committee and "should not promote the culture of violence and gambling".[7] Also other factors such as the popularity and competitiveness of the titles, the strategy and teamwork required in playing the concerned titles, as well as the physical and mental intensity required in contesting the titles in marathon matches were also considered in the selection process.[6]

There will be three categories; PC, console, and mobile each featuring two video game titles.[7] Mobile Legends: Bang Bang was the first title to be confirmed in November 2018[7] Four titles Arena of Valor, Dota 2, Starcraft II, Tekken 7 were later announced in mid-December 2018 to be included with the sixth title confirmed at a later date.[6] The organizers attempted to secure the appropriate license to be able to have NBA2k as the sixth title but was unable to do so.Hearthstone was announced as the sixth title in June 2019.[8]

In addition to the six medal events, a demonstration event will also be held in esports.[5]

There were also previous plans for the esports tournament to feature separate competitions for men and women where men would be competing in Dota 2, Hearthstone, NBA 2K, and Tekken 7 while women would be contesting Dota 2 and Hearthstone.[9] The plan was reportedly the final but was later clarified to be otherwise.[10]


The Esports competition of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games is yet to be announced. The Manila Marriott Hotel in Pasay was considered as a potential venue but the hotel management asked for a fee which was deemed too expensive by the organizers of the regional games.[11]


Market research firm Newzoo projects the number of audience for esports in Southeast Asia to grow to at least 31.9 million in 2019 attributing the increase to the inclusion of the discipline in the Southeast Asian Games.[12]

Medal summary[edit]



Event Gold Silver Bronze
Dota 2
Starcraft II


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Tekken 7


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Arena of Valor
Mobile Legends


  1. ^ "Dota2, Tekken 7 among featured games at SEAG". BusinessWorld. 25 December 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  2. ^ Atencio, Peter (30 November 2018). "Asian eSports to pick games at 2019 SEAG". Manila Standard. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Electronic sports eyed in 2019 SEA Games". ABS-CBN News. 26 November 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  4. ^ Villar, Joey (29 November 2018). "Esports makes debut in 2019 SEA Games". Philippine Star. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b Atencio, Peter (14 December 2018). "5 events removed from SEAG". Manila Standard. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Ronquillo, Ram (21 December 2018). "Five of six esports titles for 2019 SEA Games revealed". ESPN. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Esports will be a medal event in the 2019 SEA Games". Fox Sports Asia. 28 November 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Henson, Joaquin (19 December 2018). "POC finalizes events for SEA Games". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  10. ^ Saldajeno, Ivan (20 December 2018). "ESNAP head clarifies report on SEAG eSports". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  11. ^ Escarlote, Mark (14 March 2019). "FilOil Flying V Centre to host SEA Games basketball". ABS-CBN Sports (in English and Filipino). Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Southeast Asia's Esports Scene will take off in 2019, predicts research firm". Fox Sports Asia. 6 January 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2019.