Gaming: Esports in the 30th Southeast Asian Games

    TechnologyGamingGaming: Esports in the 30th Southeast Asian Games

    Esports has seen a meteoric rise over the past decade. Once labeled as a waste of time, competitive gaming is now considered as a profession in many countries around the world. In fact, those same countries, esports athletes are now as popular as traditional sports superstars.

    As the decade comes to an end, esports will also end it with a bang. The push to legitimate esports as a regular sport will be taken to the next level with esports being a medal sport in the 30th Southeast Asian Games recently held in the country. Here’s a brief look at the titles our cyber athletes competed in.

    DoTA 2

    DoTA 2 is a Multiplayer Online Battle Area (MOBA) developed and published by Valve for PC. It is based on the popular Warcraft III mod, Defense of the Ancients or DoTA for short. First announced back in 2009 when DoTA designer IceFrog was hired by Valve to produce a remake of the game, the game’s annual The International tournament also holds the record for the largest prize pool in esports with this year’s run surpassing the USD 34 million dollar mark.


    Two teams of five fight one another to destroy each others’ base. Sounds easy right? Well, the game is much more complicated than that. Each player plays a specific hero with its own unique strengths and abilities. In order to beat their opponent, the players must level their heroes up, earning gold in the process. The gold is then used to purchase items that will help players get stronger or outplay their opponents. The team needs great communication and solid teamwork to win.

    Mobile Legends: Bang Bang

    Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is a MOBA for your mobile phones. The game was developed by Chinese studio Shanghai Moontoon Technology and hit Android and iOS devices back in November 2016. Mobile Legends is one of the fastest rising games in Southeast Asia, amassing millions of followers and creating its own professional leagues in different countries.


    Just like DoTA 2, Mobile Legends is a MOBA wherein two teams of five fight one another one to secure objectives. Games are usually fast-paced since gold is earned even without killing minions.

    Arena Of Valor

    Arena of Valor or Honor of Kings as it is known in China, is also a MOBA created for Android and iOS. The game was created by Chinese gaming studio TiMi Studio and published by Chinese tech giant Tencent in 2017. The game is widely popular in Chinese and some Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar.


    You’ll probably be tired of hearing this, so I’ll cut it short. Two teams of five fight each other to destroy each other’s bases. What makes AoV so unique is, unlike ML, you’ll need to kill minions to earn gold to buy resources. And if you’re familiar with another PC MOBA, League of Legends, you might want to try this game out since it’s mechanic is the nearest to that, for now, at least.

    Starcraft II

    Starcraft II is the successor of Blizzard’s highly successful Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game Starcraft. Starcraft is undoubtedly the OG when it comes to esports. The first iteration of the game was so widely popular in South Korea that tournaments were played in jam-packed stadiums. Starcraft II was released in 2010 and has become an instant hit for RTS fans everywhere.


    Two players are placed on a map where they need to gather resources and build an army with the goal of annihilating the other player. There are three races players can choose to play and each has its own advantages and weakness. Starcraft has always had a steep learning curve and really needs quick thinking and fast hands in order to outplay your opponents.

    Tekken 7

    Tekken 7 is the seventh iteration of Bandai Namco’s highly popular fighting game. The game was released June 2017 for the PS4 and Xbox. Tekken is the only console game that will take stage in the 30th SEA Games. The game is widely popular in arcade meccas Japan and South Korea.


    Being a fighting game, Tekken is about beating the other player in 1v1 combat. To get the job done though, players must have a deep knowledge of their character and their combos. You’ll also need to get into your opponent’s head and try to read their next move in order to block or counter their own attacks.


    Hearthstone was the last addition to the lineup of titles for the SEA Games. The game was just announced as the sixth and final title for the SEA Games last August during the official reveal of Sibol as the national team for esports.

    Hearthstone is a digital card game created by Blizzard as a supplement to their popular MMORPG World of Warcraft (WoW). The cards are all based on the characters of WoW. The game was released back in 2014 and has become one of the largest digital card games in esports, with players coming from all over the world.


    The objective of Hearthstone is simple, two players face off with their 30 card decks. Each player has options of playing from nine different classes, each with their own abilities and playstyles. The main objective is to beat the other player by slowly reducing their health points via minions summoned onto the battlefield. Each card has unique abilities with offensive and defensive properties.

    Words by the Gabriel Pe
    Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE December 2019 – January 2020 Issue

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