ESL will kick 2017 off with an event in South East Asia, as the company announced today that next year’s first stop for the ESL One circuit will take place in the prestigious Arena of Stars in Genting, Malaysia. The US$250,000 tournament for the world’s top eight Dota 2 teams will be held in partnership with Genting Resorts, the owner and operator of a high-end hotel and theme park in Malaysia, providing an exciting new setting for the region’s largest esports tournament.
Earlier this year, ESL One Manila attracted 16,000 fans to the Mall of Asia arena over the course of the event weekend, with additionally more than 2.5 million unique viewers tuning in online, who watched over 3.5 million hours of the event’s broadcast. ESL One Genting will mark the world’s largest esports company’s second major event in South East Asia in less than 12 months, solidifying its commitment to expanding operations in the region.
Genting in particular holds many records of its own to signify growth in the country: not only does the First World Hotel hold the Guinness World Record for ‘world’s largest hotel’, the Resorts World Genting encompasses over 9,000 rooms spread across six hotels, theme parks, entertainment attractions, dining and retail outlets, international showrooms and business convention facilities. ESL One Genting marks the first major esports event for pioneers in the region, Resorts World Genting. Bringing together expertise from numerous previous international ventures, the resort is committed to helping ESL to foster growth in South East Asia.
Leading international games market research firm Newzoo reports that the total esports audience for the South East Asian region is 30 million, out of which approximately 50% tune into esports-related content multiple times a month. Dota 2 is the most popular PC franchise in South East Asia, with 35% of PC gamers having played it in the past 6 months, followed by World of Warcraft (32%) and League of Legends (31%). New data from Newzoo suggests that the PC and MMO games’ revenues in the region will surpass US$765 million in 2016.
“Dota’s popularity in South East Asia is astonishing and the strategic partnership with Genting Resorts opens a whole new way of delivering high quality esports content to one of the most enthusiastic, passionate and committed group of fans we’ve ever seen at ESL events,” said Ulrich Schulze, VP of Pro Gaming at ESL. “With their very deep understanding of the local market and its high-end facilities, Genting Resorts will help us open a whole new avenue for delivering the region’s best esports event to date, and take this competition to the new heights.”
“Esports is a massive and growing industry globally, and we hope to play a meaningful role in developing the local and regional market,” said Kevin Tann, Vice President of Resorts World Genting. “We are proud to be collaborating with ESL, the world’s biggest professional provider of esports that offers not just tournaments like ESL One but also news, live broadcasts and support in the esports community.”