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(File pix) Malaysia will have an electronic sport (e-Sports) model that conforms to the local culture and lifestyle by year end, said Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Steven Sim Chee Keong. Archive image for illustration purposes only

SEPANG: Malaysia will have an electronic sport (e-Sports) model that conforms to the local culture and lifestyle by year end, said Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Steven Sim Chee Keong.

Among the things that would be looked into was to ensure that e-Sports centres promote a healthy lifestyle such as no smoking, drinking alcohol or engaging in gambling activities, he added.

According to him, "townhall sessions" are being conducted nationwide with community groups and sports players such as parents, educators, fans, players and e-Sports athletes, to gather feedback and information, to gain feedback on the desired model.

"In line with efforts to uphold e-Sports as contained in the National Sports Policy, KBS cannot only act as a regulator, but also should work with all the stakeholders to build a good and comprehensive e-Sports model, thereby suppressing the negative stigma of the sport, "he said.

"We will also be using information gained from the townhalls to formulate a policy for the development of a more comprehensive e-sports industry," he added.

Sim said this after witnessing a signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Sunsuria Bhd and four individuals involved in the e-sports industry, for the setting up EXVRA, an e-Sports hub in Sunsuria property development area in Salak Tinggi here today.

Sim said the MoU could be emulated by other private bodies in efforts to develop the e-Sports sector which was strongly encouraged by the government.

He said the involvement of the private sector in developing the sport was a positive sign, where as of now, three well-known companies including one overseas-based outfit have expressed a desire to invest in the industry which currently has a market value of more than RM2.4 billion.

"The e-Sports industry is not only limited to gamers, but it also those working behind-the-scene such as game designers, programmers and event organisers," he added.

As of 2017, Malaysia has over 14 million e-Sports players, and among the popular games are Dota2, CSGO, FIFA Online3, Mobile Legend, Arena of Valor, PES and FIFA19. -- Bernama

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