Teams of contestants are competing in the Garena RoV online game which concludes today at the Limelight Avenue Mall in Dibuk Rd, Muang. It is the first time the game has been organised as an official event in competition mode in Phuket.
The winners of the tournament will pick up a cheque of B30,000 and will progress to national formats of the competition. Runners-up will receive B20,000 and B10,000 for second and third place respectively.
The competition was officially launched at the Limelight Avenue Mall around 10:30am yesterday morning by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit.
Also in attendance for the opening ceremony were Rewat Arerob, President of Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO); Mallika Boonmeetrakul Mahasuk, advisor to the Minister of Commerce; Phusit Rattanakul Sereeruengrit, Director-General of the Department of International Trade Promotion; Pichet Panapong, Deputy Governor of Phuket; Anchalee Vanich Thepbut, former member of the House of Representatives of Phuket; Chaiyot Panyawai, a candidate for the House of Representatives in Phuket as well as representatives of relevant government agencies.
Mr Jurin explained the importance of esports in Thailand and how the government is very much behind backing it’s development moving forward.
“The esports industry is growing very fast, not only in Thailand but on the global level,” he said during his opening remarks.
“The current estimated value of the global e-sports market is more than B60 billion so it is a viable means of creating economic opportunity for the entire country.
“It provides an opportunity for the participants, or athletes, to forge their own career and become economically successful, which can naturally help their family and the broader community,” Mr Jurin added.
“One day, it may be common place for esports athletes to be traded in a similar vein to professional footballers, where the player themselves retains an economic value and is regarded as an asset.
“The Ministry of Commerce and Government therefore attach great importance to esports, a sport that is growing rapidly domestically and globally. There is an official esports Association of Thailand with has been in operation for around five years and has both amateur and professional e-sports athletes within its ranks. We are very proud that the 2021 ROV world champion is a team from Thailand.”
Mr Rewat echoed the sentiments of Mr Jurin, agreeing that esports offers a genuine opportunity for children in Phuket to advance themselves and forge successful, and lucrative, careers.
“Previously, the general attitude to gaming was that it was a lazy past time that was ruining children’s lives but since the Royal Gazette announced esports as a legal sport to compete in attitudes and opportunites have changed,” Mr Rewat said, adding his thanks to Minister Jurin for opening the event.
This weekend’s event came after it was announced last December that Phuket had been selected as the venue for an esports development centre to be established by leading esports gaming team NKT, located at the Par Phuket Hotel.