BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- An official eSports association for Brunei may be in the works as the sultanate's top gamers gear up to compete at this year's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Hawaii Yee, founder of BruGames Management Services, said that they have already applied for the formation of Brunei's first gaming association to aid the progress and selection of the country's representatives for the biennial games, slated for November to December.
"A group of friends and I are trying to form an association. Brunei is the only country in Southeast Asia without an association. Even countries like Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar already have their own eSports association," said Yee.
BruGames is an event team in Brunei which focus primarily on the hosting and running of eSport events to nurture the sultanate's gaming community.
Yee explained that such an association is integral to ensuring that Brunei's top gamers are selected to represent the country at regional competitions.
This year's edition of the games will see eSports being recognized as official medal sports at the multi-sport competition. The Philippines will be hosting the event. eSports will account for six gold medals to be contested across three gaming platforms -- two each for console, mobile and PC.
Yee told Xinhua that there are currently no official gaming leagues in Brunei, resulting in a less than ideal situation when it comes to the selection of national eSport athletes.
"What I did under BruGames was hosting an open tournament. Teams can join and partake in qualifiers to get a chance at competing overseas. We do not have a league or anything so we cannot use a point system to select players," he said.
"We will try to change how national athletes are selected once an association has been set up. We will look at the best practices of our Malaysian and Singaporean counterparts. There are different approaches that we can take but this is only possible after the formation of the association," he added.
Yee said that it is now up to the relevant authorities to approve the application.
"This is something that is new to Brunei and the authorities but eSports has already been listed in the 2019 SEA Games as medal events and Brunei has gamers...why not compete," he said.
"In Brunei, the popular games are CounterStrike Go, League of Legends and Mobile legends. I feel we have a chance to compete with other countries in these games. We are a little behind in Defence of the Ancients (Dota) 2 because the player base has changed to playing other games. The community is shrinking but Dota 2 is featured in the 2019 SEA Games so we will try to push the game again and rebuild the community."