Malaysia’s games industry has grown considerably in the past few years, with upcoming titles such as No Straight Roads and Bake ‘n Switch gaining global recognition. To celebrate their achievements and encourage further advancement of the industry, LEVEL UP PLAY-ONE moved its yearly gaming event online; hosting educational webinars, gaming tournaments, and showcasing game demos by local developers. Esports was also a recurring topic throughout the event’s activities, with their first ‘Esports Jobs Career’ webinar focusing on the competitive gaming industry and the employment opportunities within.
The panel was made up of three employees from the esports company Epulze; Pontus Lövgren, co-founder of Epulze, and Alvaro Sanchez and Richard Garcia, both tech managers and broadcasters at Epulze. Lövgren and his brother founded Epulze with the goal of making esports events a norm in both their community and the industry as a whole. The organization dedicates themselves to everything esports-related, from tournaments, broadcasts, events, and even acting as a talent agency for esports athletes and personalities.
“Esports is growing immensely, in kind of every direction.” Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, where a lot of other sectors are slowly beginning to die out. “Esports is, in a lot of ways, the future.” Epulze’s biggest service is its online platform, where gamers can join daily tournaments and leagues for a chance to win money. The company currently owns offices in Sweden, Brazil, Ukraine, and Malaysia, with the Kuala Lumpur office currently undergoing renovations for its own broadcasting studio.
Becoming a part of the industry is a lot simpler than most people think, with a majority of people starting out as gamers who then transition into an actual career. You don’t have to be an amazing gamer to find work in the industry either, with other positions in administrations, sales, marketing, and management still looking for people to fill in the gaps. The trio agree that people should follow their passions – finding their strengths and seeing how they can contribute to the industry.
The infrastructure available in Malaysia has made its transition into esports effortless, with its countless internet cafes and LAN gaming centres providing both PC and mobile gamers the opportunity to play anytime, anywhere. Malaysians themselves show a lot more willingness to participate in esports, both as content creators and spectators, compared to people in the U.S. where the line between casual gamers and professional gamers is well-defined. In Europe, gaming events are treated as a subclass – held only in specific places such as game hubs which are then only accessible to specific audiences, In Malaysia, gaming events are often held in public places like shopping malls and convention centres, with the government also taking great strides to support the growth of the industry (through programmes, grants, funds, tournaments, events, etc). “Europe has a long way to go to catch up to Malaysia’s perspective.”
The misconception that you’d need otherworldly gaming abilities to be a part of the gaming industry is, thankfully, pure hokum. If you have the passion for it, then you may be exactly what Malaysia needs to bring itself to the next level. Our country may soon be the central hub for all things gaming after all, so take a chance on yourself, and make that dream a reality.