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Major Shakeup for Esports Titles at 2019 SEA Games

Six game titles including DotA 2 and Tekken 7 will be featured in next year’s SEA Games, following this week’s round of meetings chaired by the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) in Manila.

This new list brings several major changes from what was shown at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. Apparently, football (PES 2018) which was a contested game at the 2018 Asian Games Exhibition Games is set to lose out to basketball (NBA2K19) as the sixth game selected while fighting games make its debut with Tekken 7 being selected, much to the delight of the fighting game community.

Considering the popularity of basketball in the Philippines, the potential selection of NBA2K19 is expected as host countries would opt for sports  (or in this case, titles) which are most popular with the home crowd, while at the same time, allowing them the best chance of winning medals.

DotA 2 will replace League of Legends as the MOBA title of choice on PC, a move which will excite most Southeast Asian gamers considering the title’s huge popularity around these shores. Hosting country Philippines would surely fancy their chances for the gold, having seen a huge contingent of Filipino players featured at this year’s The Internationals.

Expect to see a star-studded battle royale as regional heavyweights from Malaysia (Mushi, MidOne & xNova) and Philippines (DJ, Kuku & Jabz) set to dominate the scene vying for the bragging rights as ‘The Best in SEA’.

DJ Dota

Pic Source: Liquipedia

Attuned to the growing popularity of MOBA titles, both Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Arena of Valor (AoV) have been selected as the mobile games of choice. This choice means that HearthStone and Supercell’s Clash Royale will not be played in the SEA Games.

This decision may also be a conscious effort to cater to a wider local audience as Mobile Legends and AoV are two of the most popular mobile titles played in SEA. Of the six games selected, only AoV and StarCraft II return as contested titles while the FGC would be excited to see Tekken 7 being selected as one of the contested titles.

With game peripheral makers Razer being part of the organizing committee, mobile games titles at the 2019 SEA Games will be played on Razer 2 gaming phones while console titles will be played on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.

“We are thrilled to see the momentum that our partnership with Razer has achieved in such a short period of time,” said PHISGOC Executive Director Ramon Suzara. “We are working with all involved publishers and partners to lock down the titles within the next few weeks, and look forward to watching the region’s best esports athletes face off in the arena next year.”

Echoing the sentiment, Sebastian Lau, Director-General of Asian Esports Federation (AESF) commended PHISGOC for their efforts of including esports into their Sports Program. “Esports is the sport of the future. We are glad to partner with PHISGOC in bringing esports to South East Asia.”

To recap, here is the final list of esports titles that will be played competitively for the 2019 SEA Games:

PC: DotA 2, StarCraft II

Mobile: Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Arena of Valor

PS4: Tekken 7, NBA 2K19* 

* To be finalized

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