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National league at the core of Malaysia's Esports Blueprint

On a historic night, Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister presented the country's first esports development plan.

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After eight long months, the document which Malaysian esports fans have been waiting for, was finally released by Yang Berhormat Syed Saddiq, Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister, in what he dubbed a "historic night." The document, "Strategic Plan for Esports Development 2020-2025," or the National Esports Blueprint, in short, is 144-pages long and sets in motion a breathtaking vision of accelerating Malaysia's plan in becoming Southeast Asia's premier esports hub.

Syed Saddiq Esports Blueprint

The official launch and giving of the Esports Blueprint.

The Esports Blueprint has five strategic priorities:

1) Develop athletes for esports excellence
2) Responsible gaming and esports ethics
3) Better access to esports infrastructure
4) Build a sustainable esports ecosystem
5) Institute good law and governance

ESM Esports Blueprint

The Esports Malaysia Association (ESM) looks to play a significant role in implementing the blueprint's initiatives.

A key feature of the Esports Blueprint is the establishing of a national level esports league. On page 48, the document states that "the ultimate vision is to have a well-regulated State League that will feed into the National Esports League." Details about the format and structure of this league are scarce, but we do know that the Esports Malaysia Association (ESM) will be its governing body.

Esports athletes will be part of a registry to create an official ranking system for competitive players in the most popular games in the country. This will, in turn, give the local competitive scene a structure it has sorely lacked.

Ramona Esports Blueprint

Ramona is part of the task force set up to tackle this massive project!

When asked about the implementation of the league, Ramona Azween, one of Malaysia's veteran female CS:GO competitively players conceded that, though positive, the immediate future remains sketchy. Her role, as part of the task force assigned to prepare this Esports Blueprint, was to come up with a strategic plan. And that plan is prepared to absorb input from esports practitioners.

"For Malaysian esports to excel, everyone must work together. And that expectation means there will always be challenges. Implementing this will take time, that's why it's a five-year plan."

Syed Saddiq Esports Blueprint

YB Syed Saddiq's endgame is a sustainable ecosystem.

"This is a guideline so that esports can be better, not just for ourselves, the athletes or corporations, but for all of Malaysia - everyone," she enthused.

"The initiatives to develop grassroots athletes and the national esports league are what stand out for me," shared Firdaus "MasterRamen" Hashim, a prominent community figure advocating better treatment and development of athletes. The man fondly referred to as the father of Malaysian esports, is glad the Malaysian government will focus its energy and resources in this area.

Esports Blueprint

Cosplayers aptly graced the event with their presence!

This bodes well for the Malaysian esports industry as the government has outlined a clear vision of what Malaysia's esports ecosystem should look like by the end of 2025. This plan is ambitious and there will be obstacles. But our biggest takeaway is that for esports to grow, teamwork will make this dream work.

We welcome the strategies by YB Syed Saddiq in the National Esports Blueprint. This truly paves the way for the esports industry to flourish in Malaysia.

Astro and eGG Network will fully support the key initiatives that have been laid out, particularly in making Malaysia the region's premier esports hub.

Lee Chong Khay, Astro Chief of Sports.

This vision must be embraced by the Malaysian esports community before it can be a reality. Esports is a movement birthed by individuals who bond over their love for competitive video games. Its growth and flourishing will depend on whether we own this blueprint and fight tooth and nail to see this dream become reality.

We'll be combing through the Esports Blueprint, so expect more updates as we highlight the key initiatives proposed and how they affect everyone. Click here to download the blueprint.

AUTHOR

Benedict Tan

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