Esports has changed notion of what sports is, says Kota Samarahan MP

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Rubiah (fifth right) symbolically presents the prize of RM2,500 to members of MPF Legacy XP for winning the PUBG Mobile competition. – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (Jan 29): The surge in modern technology has spawned a new era of gaming on mobile devices and computers and changed the conventional notion of what sports is, says Datuk Rubiah Wang.

The Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister said while sports is synonymous with physical activity, this is not the case with esports which involves different skill sets.

“In tandem with this development, the government supports the holding of esports competitions such as this ‘Samarahan Esports Championship X Culture and Digital’,” she said when closing the two-day event at Summer Mall in Kota Samarahan on Sunday evening.

The event saw MPF Legacy XP emerge winner in the PUBG Mobile competition; Foxura in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang; and Kagura in EA Sports FC.

Rubiah, who is Kota Samarahan MP, said besides identifying new gaming talents, the event sought to highlight Samarahan’s diverse culture and heritage, with an eye on boosting the country’s tourism sector.

“I take this opportunity to call upon all community leaders, department heads, federal and state agencies, non-governmental organisations and the society to continue empowering and preserving our arts, culture and heritage to the best of our abilities,” she said.

Meanwhile, Samarahan Resident Mohamad Irwan Bahari Bujang in his speech said the theme of the programme embodied efforts to preserve and promote culture and heritage among the youth amidst the current era of digitalisation.

“The main objective of organising this programme is aimed at fostering a spirit of unity among the youth from various ethnicities in the Samarahan region.

“Furthermore, this programme serves as a platform for young enthusiasts of electronic gaming to showcase their individual talents and expertise.

“For young children, we organised a digital colouring competition to introduce them to the digital realm, whereby participants will use tablets, deviating from the conventional method of colouring on paper,” he added.

A lucky draw held at the end of the event saw winners receive prizes that included the much-coveted PlayStation 5 as the grand prize.

Also present at the closing ceremony was Simunjan assemblyman Awla Dris.