Presented by Singtel

Already a well-honed pastime since the very first computers made its way into homes, our increasingly digital lifestyle and hyper-connectivity has culminated into an extraordinary resurgence in gaming with over 2.5 billion gamers globally. This is further bolstered by game makers reaping billions in profits from a shift in revenue model from one-time game sales to a digital ecosystem of in-game merchandise.

Gaming and esports in Asia: Vibrant and growing

In Southeast Asia, gaming is gaining tremendous momentum from the rapid growth of mobile and Internet users. Indeed, Niko Partners projects the number of PC online and mobile gamers in Southeast Asia alone to reach 476 million by 2023, generating an expected revenue of US$8.3 billion. This makes it the world’s fastest-growing region for online game revenue.

The heightened interest in gaming has also led to ta corresponding surge in interest for esports. The once-niche competitive gaming and spectator event segment has been propelled to stratospheric heights with multi-million-dollar prizes and massive audiences. According to market intelligence firm Newzoo, esports audiences is expected to climb to 290 million by 2021.

The huge interest offers opportunities for brands to leverage gaming to establish their mindshare with younger audiences, especially among the millennials and Gen Z. Gaming also serves as a common language for brands to bridge the gap and engage meaningfully with a generation of consumers who might not consume traditional media such as the television.

A commitment to building the gaming and esports community

As Singtel continues to evolve its offerings as a communications technology company, digital entertainment and gaming remain a valuable pillar to enable and engage millennial and Gen Z customers. And Singtel is uniquely positioned to engage with this fast-growing demographic with its regional reach, digital telco assets, and strong local knowledge of key Asian markets. Moreover, Singtel and its regional associates Airtel in India, AIS in Thailand, Globe in the Philippines, and Telkomsel in Indonesia already count over a third of their 700 million customers as regular gamers.

To foster a vibrant esports ecosystem and community in Southeast Asia, the Singtel Group launched PVP Esports, ASEAN’s first multi-game, multi-country esports platform in 2018. The platform kicked off the PVP Esports Championship in 2018, a pro-level tournament which attracted over 13 million views across the region and 3,000 attendees over the event weekend.

In 2019, PVP Esports focused on a community-led approach with its PVP community leagues, targeted at engaging student and workforce gamers in the Southeast Asia region that reached over 21 million over the year and 50,000 attending the Grand Finals at Singapore Comic Con. These community leagues have since been scaled up in 2020 with twice the seasons, more games and an S$100,000 prize pool for the whole year — the largest pot for a community-level tournament for amateurs globally.

This is not a journey to undertake alone. To develop the ecosystem meaningfully and sustainably, Singtel also collaborates with different players across the esports and gaming landscape. This includes national esports governing body Singapore Esports Association, tech and gaming heavyweights such as Huawei and Razer, and even homegrown players such as computer chair maker Secretlab to give gamers and esports athletes more support, recognition, and opportunities to pursue their passions.

On top of this, Singtel also works closely with like-minded partners and associates in the region to develop new gaming-related revenue streams. In March 2020, Singtel announced a Series A investment with South Korea’s SK Telecom and AIS in a regional gaming joint venture, which will see the telco giants partner with leading international game developers, and leverage the partners’ Korean and Southeast Asian gaming and entertainment content offering to engage the 800 million gamers across the Asia Pacific.

Enabling gaming

To allow gamers to enjoy the joys of gaming — and budding esports athletes to train, from home — Singtel rolled out a 1+1Gbps Fibre Pro Gamer Bundle, specially designed for gamers in Singapore. The idea is simple: deliver an optimal gaming experience free from interruptions from other network users at home by offering two separate 1Gbps Internet links. This allows one to be used exclusively for gaming, and the second for the rest of the family.

As a communications technology company, Singtel has the infrastructure and communications assets to play a part to enable the growing gaming ecosystem in the region. In the Asia Pacific, Singtel operates one of the largest IP networks with direct connectivity to more than 30 countries. This includes more than 550 Gbps backbone capacity on diverse cable systems, points of presence (PoPs) in key Internet Exchanges, and the Singtel Internet Exchange (STiX). It is for this reason that U.S. gaming companies have chosen Singtel to grow and expand in the region.

Even as the gaming community expands and as technology evolves to make virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) gaming a reality, connectivity will remain the key enabling technology. Singtel’s priority is to continue bringing digital entertainment content, as well as authentic content and engagement opportunities through platforms such as gaming, for both regional consumers and global content and gaming firms.

To learn more, download the Infographic: What you need to know about expanding into Asia

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