There's no doubt that eSports is geared to be big in Malaysia in the coming years. There's a lot of focus on it now, what with the Malaysian government setting aside a budget to grow the industry and even Razer contributing even further. There's already been a number of eSports organisations being created in preparation for this, and you can also expect more eSports events to come in 2019 and beyond.
This looks great so far, but there's a few major problems that need to be solved. For one thing, eSports players are usually young and eager to join the industry, which means they're also most likely to be exploited. Already there has been cases of eSports teams signing on players who eventually had to fork out their own money to join tournaments, not given equipment to improve their training as promised, bad contracts, or not getting their prize money even after years of the event ending!
There's a lot of glitz and glamour related to the world of eSports, but there's definitely a need for relevant parties to get together to regulate how these events and organisations are handled and ensure that no one sketchy takes advantage of eSports players through their treatment, contracts, prize money and more. This is why Malaysia Esports Player Association (MESPA) was created.
With the intent of protecting eSports players, MESPA was formed by other well known eSports players: MasterRamen, Flava Esports and Bl33D Hui. On 19 December 2018, they had their first meeting with other eSports players who were keen to play a part in protecting fellow players.
Together they voted in their Pro Tem Committee consisting of:
Boon 'Shige' Shin - Fifa 19 Professional Player
Tiffani 'Oling' Lim - Dota 2 Female Professional Player
Mohd Haqqani '2ez4Jepv' Jaafar - Mobile Legends Professional Player
Kimberly 'Kimbrry' Chan - Dota 2 & PUBG Female Player
Dawei ’Xero’ Teng - Dota 2 Player and team manager
Ahmad 'ADTR' Syazwan - Former Dota 2 Professional Player & Professional Dota 2 Coach
Aiman 'aimaNNN' Azham - CSGO Professional Player
They have also officially released the aim and purpose of the association:
(a) The association representing and safeguarding the interests of the competitive players in Malaysia;
(b) Advocate for the rights of competitive players;
(c) Provide a 𝐜𝐮𝐦𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞 to competitive players in Malaysia;
(d) Advance the 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 of esports in Malaysia;
(e) Advance the 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐦 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐠𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐲 of esports in Malaysia;
(f) Promote 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 in esports in Malaysia;
(g) Promote the 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥, 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐛𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐟𝐢𝐭𝐬 of esports and video games for youth and the wider community;
(h) Maintain cordial 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 amongst the members;
(i) Create relationships and maintain relationships with 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 all across Malaysia and all over the world;
(j) Lead the association in a 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞, 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞, 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 manner.
As MESPA has just been formed, there's a lot that needs to be done to be considered a legit association. For one thing, MESPA still needs to go through the Registrar of Societies (ROS) and that process will take 6 to 12 months. It's not exactly ideal, considering that 2019 is the year that eSports will be heavily focused on, but this is where awareness and support comes in.
For now, MESPA will be focusing on coming up with guidelines on how eSports tournaments should be handled, as well as the treatment of players. To help them with legal issues, MESPA is also supported by lawyers from MahWengKwai & Associates, who will be helping the organisation pro bono and give legal advice where needed.
Once MESPA has been approved by the ROS, it is totally possible for anyone to join. For now it is possible to join MESPA, but let's give the pro tem committee some time to figure out what are the requirements.
For more information and other future updates, do follow the MESPA Facebook page and show them as much support as possible for the future of eSports players in Malaysia.