Singapore’s eSports industry today generates millions of dollars in revenue despite its tender age. According to Statista, an authoritative and trustworthy market and insights research company, 72% of the respondents aged 16 to 24 years indicated that they played online games, primarily eSports, in the 2020 Rakuten Insight study. In the same survey, 58% of respondents indicated being familiar with video games. Singapore hosts the headquarters of the Global Esports Federation, a government organization formed in 2019 to promote the credibility, prestige, and legitimacy of esports. Besides, the federation provides a virtual ecosystem where esports athletes convene to foster the mission of connecting communities through sports, esports, and technology.
Overall, South-East Asia is a vibrant gaming region boasting millions of gamers who regularly participate in virtual esports tournaments and home-based gaming. In Singapore, for instance, the number of gamers shot from barely hundreds to more than 1.4 million active gamers today. It is establishing itself as the Asian esports capital. By 2019, Singaporeans’ investments in online games clocked $327.2 million. On average, every game spent 7.44 hours per week on video games, as per Newzoo, a trusted source of gaming market data and analytics. The Singapore Games Association valued the country’s video games market at $130 million. The association projects that by 2024, the market value will grow to reach $134 million. Moreover, the growth of esports continues to attract the attention of government authorities. The Singapore Tourism Board, for instance, has undertaken to market the country as the premier esports capital. The recent esports events like the Gaming Matters 2021 and Gamescom Asia conferences are an attestation to this end.
The growing gaming numbers attest to the vibrancy of the esports sector in Singapore. Fuelling such growth are incredibly created casual single-player games and first-person shooter games like Call of Duty. Also, the emergence of mobile-compatible games and streaming platforms like twitch enhanced the increasing uptake of online games, especially during the Covid pandemic, which was characterized by movement restrictions and work-from-home arrangements. This article brings you the most popular esports in Singapore and Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Dota 2 by Valve is not only popular in Singapore but the rest of the world. This Multi-player Online Battle Arena (MOBA) was launched in 2013 as the successor to Valve’s Defence of the Ancients. Dota is a deep strategy game that pits two teams, each with five players, against each other. On paper, your role is to capture the enemy’s base while blowing up enemy ancient. As the game takes center stage, your part is to manipulate the game’s psychological, economic, and strategic tempo in a challenge where variables dynamically change as you play. Compellingly, you have to choose the ideal wizard, cast the appropriate spells, and ensure they have the right pair of shoes.
In Singapore, Dota 2 is tops the charts of the most played video game. Highlighting its popularity are celebrity esports players like Koh, Daryl Pei Xiang, and Jeng Yih Wong, who have won millions in cash prizes.
League of Legends
League of Legends (LoL) is an action-oriented game that involves real-time strategy. Since October 2009, when the game’s developer and publisher, Riot Games, announced its release, Singaporean players have continued to embrace it. When players pool into two teams (3v3 or 5v5), you start the game. Then the duel emerges at the Spawning pool, an area close to Nexus as you play. To win, your team must destroy the opponent’s Nexus. However, players must work their way through Turrets that characterize their paths to destroy Nexus. Besides, along the way, players scale up the level-up ladder by eliminating the opponents’ non-player characters, Minions, and champions. Also, you have the chance to defeat monsters along the way. If you are lucky to complete the objectives, you will win the high-value gold, which eventually you can use to purchase items.
According to esportsearnings.com, League of Legends is among the most popular games in Singapore. It attracts many professional gamers. Wong, Xing Le is the highest Singapore LoL earning, overall having won $97,771.34 prize money in various tourneys.
Counter-strike: Global Offensive
In most cases, the game is abbreviated as CS: GO. It is a purely tactical first-person shooter game developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment. CS: GO is the fourth release in the Counter-strike franchise that enjoys a massive following by esports teams in Singapore. This game sets terrorist groups against counter-terrorist in a series of jaw-dropping rounds. Anthony Lim is among the game’s top earners, having won over $52,000 in various Singapore esports events.
Fortnite by Epic Games and Tencent is relatively popular in Singapore. It is a third-person batte royale game full of action. In Singapore, the game was released for PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox, and macOS in July 2017. To date, the game excites thousands of Singaporeans with its rankings that continue to hit new heights daily.
Originally, Fortnite was a sandbox co-op survival game in which you were to save the world through a team of four working towards a common goal in various missions. However, this Battle Royale version comes with 100 players who engage in fights in relatively more minor confinements. The game’s objective is to remain the last man standing in these fighting encounters. Esports fans view Fortnite as the competitor to PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUGB), which has similar gameplay.
Call of Duty
Call of Duty is another hugely popular esports game in Singapore. It is optimized for mobile gaming. You can also play on consoles and the PC. The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the latest in this franchise. This multiplayer game features great gunplay, impressive weapon customization, and an intense campaign. Overall, it is a grounded and realistic military shooter game. You take control of SAS and CIA officers as they help splinter forces in the fictitious Urzikstan. This fictional country borders Russia, and it is fighting for its independence. As the battle rages on, the stash of deadly chemical weapons gets lost, and you have to find it. Alongside, you are also required to quell the cantankerous Russian military extremists. Professional players like Toh, Jun Hui have won a $36,750.00 money prize highlighting the game’s popularity in Singapore.
A host of other games are pretty popular in this region. Electronic Arts’ FIFA is a fantastic example that endears millions of Singapore soccer fans to immortalize their favorite teams and players. Besides, games from renowned Asian developers like Yeo attract many Singapore players and sponsorship for tournaments as more corporates are ready to leverage the esports embrace to advertise their wares.