As with most industries, the growing digital economy in Southeast Asia is helping boost the gaming industry. Together with eSports, the industry as a whole has seen tremendous growth both in consumer spending and investment.
According to data from Newzoo, the expected global revenue from eSports is expected to grow to US$1.5 billion by 2020. APAC will be a major growth market for the industry with 51% of eSports enthusiasts in the region.
The popularity of eSports has exploded in Southeast Asia recently. According to research, Southeast Asia is the industry’s fastest-growing region, with more than 9.5 million eSports enthusiasts, with 2.8 million in Vietnam and 2 million in Indonesia.
Tech Collective has previously covered the industry and highlighted the growing importance of the industry in Southeast Asia.
To better explore the growing market, we look at the top 5 eSports startups in the region.
The Thailand-based gaming provider is a virtual reality content creator that leverages virtual reality and augmented reality in the form online Esports competition platform called eArena, which will be for both mobile and PC.
The eSports startup recently secured funding from Japanese gaming media company GameWith which will allow it to enter Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia in 2020.
The company has said it aims to become the region’s esports industry leader by 2025.
“Following this round, we expect to roll out several esports collaborations that will enhance our position as an industry leader, as well as create 10,000 industry-related jobs for the digital-savvy generation in this region by 2025,”Infofed founder and CEO Jirayod Theppipit.
EVOS, Singapore and Indonesia
EVOS, which was founded in 2017, runs 13 competitive eSports teams across six major games. With operations in five countries, the startup supports and trains 62 players. The eSports startup recently raised US$4.4 million in Series A funds to seize the untapped market of gaming influencer management in Southeast Asia.
The startup is now based in Jakarta and according to their press release employs 120 people.
Team Flash, Singapore
Team Flash, which is headquartered in Singapore, recently secured US$1.5 million for its first seed round. Team Flash has won more than US$620,000 in prize money in the two years of operation, making them one of the more successful teams in the region.
Currently based in Vietnam and Singapore – the startup boasts a portfolio of four professional teams in Arena of Valor, League of Legends, FIFA, and PUBG Mobile. Headquartered in Singapore, Team Flash’s esports talent are located across Southeast Asia with a reported regional footprint of more than 2,000,000 fans across all team and player digital channels.
Kitamen is a digital lifestyle brand based in Malaysia that runs eSports and gaming-related initiatives around the country. Started in 2016, the eSports startup originally built gaming centres they call Dojos for gamers.
Eventually they moved on to becoming organisers for local gaming tournaments, and providing equipment rentals and consultation services as well. Currently the startup has six verticals where they offer specific eSports-related services for the local Malaysian community.
Bren Esports, The Philippines
Based in The Philippines, Bren ESports was founded by Bernard “Bren” Chong. According to Wikipedia, the startup has competitive teams in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, CS:GO, PUBG, League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Clash Royale, Arena of Valor, Rules of Survival and Tekken.
The team has had significant success in local and regional tournaments, securing top 5 finishes and some tournaments wins across multiple games.
The team recently opened a 2,000 square metre eSports training facility in the Philippines. This is located at the Nexus Center in the Makati Central Business District, and contains 11 practice rooms, a recreational area, a production area, and a gym.