It may or may not come as a surprise to you – Asia is the largest market for competitive video-gaming, or esports, for short. Globally, esports revenue in 2017 is anticipated to hit USD1 billion (Data: SuperData, 2017). If all goes as planned, Malaysia may grow to be one of the biggest esports hubs in the region. Thanks to initiatives by agencies like Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia’s a little closer to that reality. On that note, a big name in esports shares the sentiment about Malaysia’s potential in the arena – Riot Games.
If you’re a gaming enthusiast, you’ll likely to have heard of Riot Games, creators of the popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game League of Legends or LoL. LoL is one of the “Big Three” in esports games together with Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).
“Malaysia will be one of the biggest esports countries in the region, in the next 1-2 years,” said Benjamin Pommeraud, general manager of Riot Games for Singapore and Malaysia at the announcement of its inaugural student ambassador program.
The Riot Games Student Ambassador Program is the first of its kind in the world, and proudly Malaysia-first. It’s a testament of the huge potential Malaysia has to be a leading ASEAN games development hub.
Targeted at local university and college students with a passion for gaming, the one-year program aims to help participants develop transferable career critical skills and jump-start their future careers.
Contrary to common belief, you don’t have to be a pro gamer to be involved in the gaming industry. There’s a plethora of services and roles within the gaming ecosystem – product development, branding, marketing, media, event management, creative content, and more.
So, what’s the Student Ambassador Program about?
The program has the objective to grow the LoL community from university-level, and the student ambassador will become the voice of the community.
The ambassador will work to engage, grow and nurture the community via campaigns, events and other initiatives on campus. He/she will be the key driver behind organizing intra-campus tournaments and community events like workshops and hackathons. Speaking of which, the person will be tasked to organize a viewing party for the epic LoL World Championship to be held in October.
He/she will need to manage a healthy budget, and will be responsible to engage potential sponsors as well as build long term partnerships.
At the end of the year-long program, student ambassadors will receive certificates, testimonials and partial scholarships. Top ambassadors receive an all-expense paid trip to watch the Finals of the League of Legends World Championship next year.
How can one become a Student Ambassador?
For its first batch, Riot has selected 28 students out of hundreds of applicants, from 28 universities and colleges throughout Malaysia. The program runs from April 2017 until March 2018.
The selection criteria is not prescriptive of student year.
While it is naturally important that the candidate has a lifelong passion for gaming, he needs to be a exemplary student as well. Think well-rounded, with good grades. In fact, the first batch of selected ambassadors have average GPA scores of 2.5-4.0.
Importantly, it’s good attitude, charisma and personality, with the ability to stay organized, agile and creative.
Here’s the list of participating universities and colleges:
Malaysia, the game hub
Speaking at the press conference was Hasnul Hadi Samsuddin, director of creative talent and technologies division, MDEC. He said that Malaysia via MDEC has been aggressively pushing the development of the local gaming industry. Initiatives like the Level Up KL 2015 gaming conference and My Digital Maker are steps to develop Malaysia into a regional games hub.
He said that Malaysia does not have a creative talent drain, but there’s an overall lack of talent globally. With the growth of the digital economy and onset of new technology, types of jobs are changing. Programs like Riot’s student ambassador program will provide valuable experiences and learning to help young Malaysian talents to meet industry demands.
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