The multi-sport 30th SEA Games to be held from November 30 – December 11, 2019 in the Philippines will include E-Sports for the first time with the presence of Thai contestants, who are now gearing up to get ready for the competition.
Over the past four years, Thailand's gaming industry has seen spectacular growth with an average expansion of 12.7 percent, driven by various factors that include the surge in development of online games via smartphone, making the online gaming platforms immensely popular. Moreover, Thais have increasingly developed their software games, drawing a larger amount of investment from the private sector. The emergence of E-Sports which opens a battle field for local and international players is one of the key factors to add value and link the gaming industry with other business sectors. Due to the popularity of the gaming industry and support from the public and private sectors, KResearch projects that Thailand's gaming industry in 2020 will reach 25 billion Baht or an increase of 10-12 percent.
Additionally, the notion of the gaming industry has changed from being a form of recreation to become a professional E-Sports competition, and it has created revenues for related parties. For example, the gaming competition has evolved from amateurish events to become well-organized tournaments of E-Sports professional clubs. There are more tournaments at the semi-professional and professional levels in the past 1-2 years, generating income for businesses directly involved with E-Sports. KResearch expects that E-Sports will generate at least 500 million Baht for businesses directly involved in 2019.
At any rate, Thailand's gaming industry is still in the early stage of development as Thais have just begun developing the platforms to change their status from user to developer. The future of the industry, thus, depends on the continuity of support from the public and private sectors to propel Thailand's gaming industry to the international arena. Moreover, to make local gaming and E-Sports move forward in the long run, it is necessary to increase the number of E-Sports professional competitors and to encourage local companies to transform their status from users, importers and distributors to developers and copyright owners to add value to Thailand's digital economy.