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Developing youth talent in eSports

Speech by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, at the Campus Game Fest 2017

18 November 2017

Ms Tham Mei Leng, Director of School of Business & Services, ITE College Central;
Mr Nicholas Khoo, Chairman, Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association (SCOGA);
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Introduction

A very good morning! I’m glad to be here with you today to launch the Campus Game Fest 2017, or CGF.

Recognising and supporting the growth of eSports 

2. eSports has steadily grown in popularity over the years, giving rise to a booming industry. Globally, revenue from eSports is expected to hit US$700M this year. In addition, eSports will become an official medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games for the very first time.

3. To be successful in eSports, gamers need to develop important traits - leadership, teamwork, and the ability to communicate well. This is on top of the need for discipline, both in training and in managing their time and lifestyle habits. These are the positive traits that SCOGA is actively promoting through its newly minted eSports Academy, which aims to develop Singapore’s gaming community and industry. Set up in April this year, the Academy provides training programmes for several game titles, as well as bootcamps and development courses on team leadership and physical wellness. The Academy is supported by the National Youth Council, and has seen more than 500 participants so far.

4. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate SCOGA as it celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Started as a ground up initiative by active members of various gaming communities, SCOGA has worked hard to support gamers so that they can represent Singapore on the international stage, and also promote the importance of cyber wellness.

5. Take Fabien Ong, for example. In 2013, Fabien was an active gamer playing Vainglory, a popular multiplayer online battle arena game. After attending “train the trainer” sessions conducted by SCOGA, Fabien has become a volunteer trainer at SCOGA, training other young gamers on foundation and advanced skillsets for Vainglory. Fabien is also the team manager of Team Impunity, one of the top teams in Southeast Asia. 24-year-old Fabien commands the respect of his team by emphasising gaming excellence and strong values like discipline and control. Even though Team Impunity is preparing for the Vainglory World Finals next month, they are here at Campus Game Fest giving back to the community. I wish Team Impunity all the best at the Vainglory World Finals!

Reaching out to youths with varied interests

6. Over the past five years, CGF has grown in both scale and popularity. It is becoming an important platform run by youths, for youths, to showcase their skills in eSports. This year alone, CGF has toured 9 tertiary campuses, and involved more than 15 youth communities, 70 schools, and over 1,500 participants in various competitions.

7. CGF 2017 is not just about eSports, which is featured through tournaments such as the Lion City eSports Cup and the Singapore Pokémon Video Game Open. It also includes various digital lifestyle activities in the areas of arts, media and edutainment. One example is the National Digital Arts Championship where youth will be competing in the use of digital technology to express their creativity. There is also a showcase by ITE’s School of Engineering and IT, of how augmented and virtual reality can be integrated into our daily lives. Indeed, there’s something for everyone here.

Supporting youth aspirations

8. At the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, we celebrate the diverse interests and unique talents of our youths. Through the National Youth Council, the People’s Association Youth Movement and various partners, we will continue to support your passions. As you develop new skills and knowledge, we hope you will also do good for the community, and shape a better future for Singapore.

9. I am glad to learn that more than 50 of you are already doing this. You have been representing ITE and partnering local startup Neeuro to engage seniors and improve their cognitive skills using brainwave sensors and game technology. Such inter-generational initiatives help bring our citizens closer together. I urge you to continue using your talents to make Singapore a more caring and inclusive home for all. Your efforts also help grow the spirit of SG Cares, a national movement to inspire all Singaporeans to look out for one another, and ensure that no one is left behind.

Conclusion

10. Finally, I would like to commend ITE and SCOGA and all the youth volunteers for organising the CGF. To those taking part in the tournaments, I wish you all the best. Thank you, and have an enjoyable time at Campus Game Fest 2017!

Last Updated: 20 November 2017

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