Malaysia announces first eSports tournament for people with disabilities
Esports Integrated (ESI), an agency under the Youth and Sports Ministry, has announced Malaysia’s first eSports tournament for people with disabilities – Para Malaysia Esports League 2021 (Para MEL21).
The month-long tournament, organised in cooperation with software developer Techninier, has a prize pool of RM10,000 and is part of the National Esports Blueprint to promote inclusivity.
Participants will be competing in the game Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile (PUBG Mobile) as a solo player or in a squad.
Those interested in entering the tournament, slated to run from Oct 18 to 24, can register at paramel.esukan.gg, the national esports platform.
The Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said his ministry aspires to bring PWD-only tournaments into the mainstream.
“As eSports continue to become a global phenomenon and is growing to become one of the biggest industries in the world, it’s important to ensure that access is given to as many eSports enthusiasts as possible and that includes PWDs,” he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Faris Amir, ESI CEO, said Para MEL21 embodies the spirit of “eSports for all”.
“We hope that by kick starting this tournament, more industry stakeholders, organisations and event organisers will start giving attention to the underserved PWD segment.
Esports, through competition and peripheral activities such as streaming, hosting and casting, is a healthy and viable career option for PWDs,” he said.
Ahmad Riefqiey Rahman, 27, a differently-abled video game streamer based in Kuantan, Pahang, is excited at the announcement of Para MEL21.
He said he has been trying to kick start a platform for PWDs to compete in eSports professionally in Malaysia for years.
“After struggling for so long, it feels like there’s a new light in my life,” he said, adding that he is already getting enquiries from others about training for the league.
Those who register for Para MEL21 can also enter a separate challenge featuring Techninier’s Super Jones title and RM1,000 in prize money.