Now Reading: Government to Hold Pakistan’s First E-Sports Tournament in Next Year
In a move that has been long overdue at this point, the government of Pakistan has announced that it will be holding the country’s first ever E-Sports tournament next year. This revelation was made by the Federal Minister for Science and Technology – Fawad Chaudhry – while speaking with TV host and Vlogger, Waqar Zaka, on Thursday.
As for the time and location of the venue, the national-level e-sports competition is going to take place in Islamabad in March of 2021. Waqar Zaka, who has been advocating and promoting the gaming industry’s national talent for a while now and was at the forefront of the backlash at the PUBG ban in the country, approached the minister himself to convince him to invest in this sector.
The federal Minister sat down with Zaka in an interview confirming this and requested Zaka to be the host of the tournament and assured him that the tournament will not be held back by any type of bureaucracy. The minister also informed Waqar that the tournament will get hosted privately via sponsorships. The full details of the tournament are yet to be announced.
Long-time Advocate for E-Sports in Pakistan
It is pertinent to note that this is not the first time the Federal minister has shown interest in e-sports in Pakistan. Just a bit over a week ago, Fawad Chaudhry had also announced that the ministry will be introducing several certifications in animation and game development in universities all across the country in order to encourage the youth to be part of the multibillion-dollar and still blossoming e-sports industry. He said,
“If you are not interested in studying, instead you are interested in video games on your phone, then get ready, because our ministry is launching a special programme for video games programming. So, that we can join this $90 billion gaming industry. Animation and video game certification programmes will not be a game but a game changer for the youth.”.
اگر آپ کو پڑھنے سےدلچسپی نہیں اور فون پر ویڈیو گیمز سےرغبت ہے تو تیاری رکھیں @MinistryofST ویڈیو گیمز پروگرامنگ کا خصوصی پروگرام لارہی ہے تا کہ ہم 90 ارب ڈالر کی اس انڈسٹری کاحصہ بن سکیں، Animation اور ویڈیو گیمز سرٹیفیکیشن پروگرام نوجوانوں کیلئے Game ہی نہیں Game Changer ہوں گے
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) November 24, 2020
He doubled down on this in an interview with Waqar Zaka, stating that such an initiative will serve to also provide opportunities to young adults who want to pursue gaming as a career and allow them to become part of this extremely high earning industry. “The gaming industry is worth $90 billion dollars and there is already a 20 percent growth per annum in Pakistan,” the federal minister told Waqar Zaka.
“The companies working in Pakistan tell me that they have a number of vacancies, but not enough qualified people to fill these positions. Therefore, we are designing a course in collaboration with these companies and launching a certification program with the help of universities.” further added Fawad Chaudhry.
Watch the video here:
The Fastest Growing Industry for Investment
As mentioned above, E-sports is one of the world’s fastest growing industries. Pakistan itself is home to over 220 million people, and 40% of its population falls within the ideal age group for cpetitive gaming. The country has seen massive growth in its competitive gaming scene with multiple organizations, such as the Portal Esports setting up boot camps, hosting various tournaments and promoting different local talent.
The most standout player in Pakistan is called Arslan Ash, a player who won against top-tier world famous Tekken players at the EVO Championship Series Japan and at the main EVO Championship series last year. The game’s fighting game community is extremely notable and has received a lot of international coverage.
Shooters are also extremely popular in popular, with PUBG Mobile having millions of players being a part of the game’s community. PUBG Mobile was temporarily banned in Pakistan for being “too addictive” earlier in the year but organized protests in unison from all over the Pakistani gaming community got the ban lifted. For a hint of how popular it is, in an event for the game, over 12000 4-man teams participated in it for a prize pool of over 35 lakhs PKR (around 16 lakhs INR).
Valorant is also seeing growth in the country, with its latest upcoming Jazba cup being the center of attention for many. All in all, the e-sports industry in Pakistan has great scope and its great to see the government paying attention in this sector.