Just weeks after it was announced that esports will be a medal event at the upcoming 30th SEA or Southeast Asian Games in 2019, the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee or PHISGOC and its partner organization, Razer, have revealed the lineup of shortlisted titles in the major sporting event.
Dota 2, Starcraft II, Tekken 7, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Arena of Valor have been listed as the esports games that will become medal events in next year’s SEA Games. They have been split evenly across the three major gaming platforms — PC, console, and mobile, with the sixth and final entry to be announced in the coming weeks.
For PC, there’s Dota 2 and Starcraft II, while Tekken 7 will represent console gaming. Given its popularity in esports circles, it will be no surprise at all if the next iteration of NBA 2K for console is also named a medal event. Curiously, Mobile Legends and Arena of Valor are two similar games with few key differences.
In a press release, Razer said the parties involved in finalizing the lineup wanted to include the “most popular and competitive” games. As to why other popular games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite: Battle Royale, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG were snubbed from the selection, it was reported that games with gun violence have been excluded from Olympic competitions because they do not conform to the standards set by the International Olympic Committee, which oversees SEA Games policy.
Teams comprised of men and women can compete in the games, and a total of six gold medals will be up for grabs in the esports events, one per title. The 2019 SEA Games is set to take place in the Philippines from November 30 to December 11 next year. Though competitive video gaming was already part of last year’s Asian Games as a trial run for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, the 2019 SEA Games will mark the official debut of esports as a medal event.
It’s been estimated that annual esports revenue could exceed $900 million this year and reach $1.65 billion by 2021.
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