In a first, Pakistan to host national level e-sports tournament

Pakistan on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the gaming company Garena to organise a national level e-sports tournament in the country.

The development was announced by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry at the signing ceremony of the MoU.

"Garena is a renowned company," Fawad said adding, "Free Fire (a battle royale game), in collaboration with Bigo, is organising a national tournament for the first time."

The minister further stated that some 567 teams from Pakistan will be participating in the gaming event.

"The winners in the event will be rewarded with prizes of up to Rs10 million. The winning team will also be able to participate in an international competition where prizes are [collectively] worth $2 million."

Fawad termed it an opportunity for gaming enthusiasts to become millionaires. "This is a major step towards e-sports and it will enable our youth to participate."

With the passage of time, the minister added, the world's major companies will become a part of the pool. "This event will provide Pakistani youth with a significant opportunity."

Read 20-year-old Pakistani listed among richest pro gamers in the world

Video games have become a booming business in the last few decades. Revenue in the sector is expected to reach $196 billion by 2022.

With e-sports – professional video game competitions – evolving into a very profitable industry itself, it is not surprising gamers are benefiting as well.

Top players are able to collect salaries and endorsement deals matching those earned by traditional athletes and Pakistanis are not far behind.

In February last year, 20-year-old Sumail Hassan Syed was listed as one of the top-earning players with around $3.6 million earnings to date.

Hassan made history in 2015 when he helped his team, Evil Geniuses’, claim the Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2) Asian championship in China.

Hassan played an instrumental role in the team’s success as he was the core player (game-changing role).

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune – Technology rss feed, without modifications to the text)