When we talk about eSports, usually we think about games like DOTA 2 or CS: GO. These are the big earners around the world. However, there is a rising popularity for Call of Duty tournaments, and unlike the previous two examples, these are on the PS4. Two local teams, UnVeil NoVa and RamPaGe Gaming, are going through to a regional tournament this weekend. Should they win, they will go through to a recently announced world league of Call of Duty. No matter the result, this would be potentially huge for the local eSports community. To find out more, VR Zone reached out to both teams to talk about their feelings in the run-up to the regional.
Representing Singapore and Malaysia
We spoke with Akbar and Megat, team captains of UnVeil NoVa and RamPaGe Gaming respectively. The first question, whether or not they thought of themselves representing Singapore and Malaysia, they emphatically agreed with. Akbar responded, “I believe that we are representing our beloved nation by competing in CWL APAC Sydney. As this is a regional event, we are the only Singaporean team that is flown in by Activision to compete. We strongly believe that this event is an opportunity for us to showcase our talents on a grander scale.
Words cannot completely describe our gratitude for this opportunity given to us, and regardless of the outcome of this event, we hope to have made Singapore proud in the eSports industry.”
Megat agrees, saying, “RamPaGe Gaming have always had the mindset to compete for our national flags to awaken the country especially in this rising E-Sports Industry. It has been a privilege to carry the Malaysian And Singaporean Flag to an International event, to mostly prove that Asians are equally great as well in all aspects.” However, Megat also brought up another element he was proud to showcase, collaboration. “The whole community makes all the effort and hard work,” he says, “Malaysians or Singaporeans together bringing this Call of Duty Competitive scene to the South East Asian Region.”
The follow-up question was whether or not going through to the global stage would put Singapore and Malaysia on the map. Akbar definitely thinks so, believing that it will show that there is more where that came from in Singapore. Megat agrees and adds that it will show that there is an eSports scene beyond PC gaming.
eSports in SE Asia and the future
eSports is quite well known in the region. However, UnVeil and RamPaGe are part of a relatively small community, according to Akbar. “The spotlight has always been given to the largely popular PC games such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: GO and DotA 2. This has resulted in less exposure towards the PS4 Call of Duty community and has been demotivating for many young talents that were willing to pursue in eSports.” Akbar does say that this is improving, with UnVeil NoVa organising their own tournaments. He believes that the spotlight has been shone on the community, and in turn, this will get more into eSports.
Megat says that RamPaGe Gaming has received a lot of positive media attention. He puts this down to since the first Call of Duty eSports tournaments in Malaysia in 2014. Just like Akbar, Megat believes that most attention is given to PC oriented eSports. However, there appears to be more support for console eSports in Malaysia.
As a final question, both captains were asked whether or not eSports could reach the heights of soccer regarding popularity. Akbar isn’t very sure. He responds, “gaming is often regarded as an addiction or something negative. However, I’m sure eSports would be accepted by people from all walks of life eventually in the long run.” Megat is far more optimistic. “E-Sports has its own type of audience, still capable of sustaining and growing!” He does concede however that that will be a long way into the future. Either way, be sure to support our local teams this weekend in Sydney.