Speaking of Malaysia esports, Orange-esports, the birthplace of most Malaysian esports players, shares the same value with the Huangpu Military Academy. As the founder of Orange-esports, Frank was regarded as the “Godfather” of Malaysia esports.
The just-concluded Malaysia Qualifiers of eXTREMESLAND CS:GO 2018 Asia Open Tournament was held in the flagship of Orange-esports. Frank and his Orange are the partner of BenQ, the organizer of the event, in Malaysia and responsible for the Malaysia qualifier.
On the open day of the qualifier, Frank appeared on the event in Jeans, sneaker and T-shirts of their team. No sooner was he seated in the interviewing room than he said to the reporter with a smile that “I am ready for any question, please feel free to ask.”
Frank witnessed the development of Malaysia esports. In his eyes, in the last ten years, Malaysia has been leading the development of Southeast Asia esports, no matter in events or professional team cultivation. “The output of professional players starts from Malaysia.”
However, e-sports in Malaysia has been growing slowly in the past until recent three years. Frank explained that such change was manifested in many aspects. For example, there is an esports channel in Malaysian TV, covering the whole Southeast Asia. And there are also more and more positive cover on esports. “which I couldn’t even imagine there years ago.”
This year is the eighth year that Frank has been working on esports. Undisguisedly, he admitted that it was a hard period. He saw many rich guys come into and invest esports, then withdraw after a year or two.
“In China, many traditional enterprises are willing to sponsor esports industry, which won’t happen in Malaysia”, Frank said. The sponsors of the Malaysian e-sports are mainly divided into two categories, either computer hardware manufacturers or telecommunications operators.
Even though, Frank and his Orange survived. He played an active part in organizing teams and cultivating players. To promote the development of Malaysia esports, he gave his players for free. “As long as anyone is willing to give the player double treatment, I can give the entire team to him, and they are all free.” According to Frank, half of the players participating in EL CS:GO come from Orange.
When it comes why did so, Frank explained that he want more people to be involved in esports industry, not only Orange. What’s more, he also supports more players join teams abroad, such as China and Korean. “Financial problem is the biggest obstacle on the development of Malaysia esports. Players exchange would affect the industry in a good way since they can bring experience abroad back.” Frank said.
To Frank’s delight, as e-sports became a competition for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, the Malaysian government began to focus on the development of e-sports. At the latest Malaysian National Games, e-sports will also become the official competition for the first time. Not only that, many state governments have already taken action. In addition to actively hosting e-sports competitions, they also intend to turn some unpopular sports centers into e-sports training centers.
“Our newest youth sports minister is only 27 years old. He used to be a DOTA player. He has made a commitment to allocate more budget to develop e-sports. At the same time, he also asked the E-sports Association to submit a plan focusing on finding the orientation of the development of e-sports in Malaysia” Frank said.
Frank believes that esports in China is a good model for Malaysia to copy. In the recent two years, teams in Malaysia began to have training bases, chefs, coaches, etc., which was inspired by China. “Owning numerous sponsors and talents, China is the leading power in Asian e-sports market. We hope that China can remain as a leader and inspire the esports market in Southeast Asia.”
Apart from a leader, Malaysian esports also need pioneers. EL CS:GO Open Tournament is undoubtedly playing such a role. They have held events in Malaysia for three consecutive years, providing CS:GO players in Southeast Asia an opportunity to experience high-level competitions. Frank said that the annual EL CS:GO tournament counts for the top event. Aside from Malaysian players, there are many players from Thailand, Singapore and other countries specially fly to Kuala Lumpur to compete in the events.
“Having been waited for so long, the spring of esports is finally coming” Frank said in the end.