Yogyakarta, April 2, 2019 – Center for Digital Society (CfDS) held another series of Digitalk, which discussed e-sport, a particular phenomenom that is stealing major attention. Massive crowds that mainly consisted from gaming community around Yogyakarta were coming to the Convention Hall 4th Floor of FISIPOL UGM, to gain deeper insights about the development of e-sport in Indonesia presented by Simson, S.Kom (Chair of the DI Yogyakarta Provincial e-sport Association) and Hasyim Muhammad (Professional E-Sport Player), moderated by Iradat Wirid. This Digitalk was also special, since it was opened by CfDS’ Digital Intelligence Lab that produced a popular research called ‘Analysis on The Future of E-Sports in Indonesia’. It was also being disseminate in this Digitalk by Treviliana Eka Putri (Manager of Digital Intelligence Lab CfDS) and Wava Carissa Putri (Research Assistant for Digital Intelligence Lab CfDS).
Popularity of E-Sport Potential in Indonesia
When sports are usually known in physical form, e-sport is an electronic sport. According to Oxford Dictionaries, e-sport or electronic sports can be understood as video games in the form of competitions conducted at a professional level. From the momentum of the Piala Presiden E-Sport 2019, CfDS analyzed and disseminated the results of big data-based research. The data was taken from two social media channels, YouTube and Twitter since January 21, 2019 until March 21, 2019, where Piala Presiden E-Sport 2019 itself was held on January 29 to March 31, 2019.
Treviliana said that with the large number of players and spectators from Piala Presiden E-Sport 2019, e-sports in Indonesia have the capacity to develop in the future, especially with the support of the government. Wava also added that e-sport is not just about players, games and competition. In the e-sport ecosystem, there are many parties involved, including sponsors, advertisers, developers, viewers, media and so on. With the continual increase of subscribers on YouTube since it was created in 2018 to date, as well as increasing e-sports competition, e-sports are predicted to become a potential industry.
The Growth of E-Sport in Indonesia
About the growth of e-sport, Simson admit that one of the issues about games is the negative stigma. But in 2017, when Mobile Legend became famous, the term e-sport began to be used. IESPA (Indonesia E-Sport Association) which was originally a community became an association that accommodated the community of gamers in Indonesia to support the growth of e-sport in Indonesia. In order to minimize the negative stigma about video games, the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KEMENPORA) also asked IESPA to make regulations, including the limitation of playing age, (min. 16 years old). However, children under the age of 16 can also participate provided if they have permission from their parents. E-sports began to be 'seen' by parents when there was an Asian Games event, that included e-sport exhibition with many parties involved. In addition to making regulations such as those carried out by Indonesian Football Association (PSSI), IESPA is also looking for the best talent in various cities, by holding national tournaments or regional competitions.
Hasyim, that already started playing games since he was in elementary school to become a professional game player like now also acknowledged that there are many great players in Indonesia. About great players, Hasyim also discussed the difference between professional players who have contracts with the team, regular training hours, and salary. While for ordinary players, playing games are usually seen as a mere hobbies or entertainment, which lead to experience quick sense of boredom. Hasyim also gave tips to game enthusiasts who want to become professional game players, that they should prove their willingness first with achievements, such as winning tournaments, so that their parents will more easily understand the particular activities of e-sport.
Asking about about future expectations for e-sport in Indonesia, Simson said that it can be a sport that considered as important as sports in general, and the creation of a special e-sports stadium infrastructure in each region might just happen in the near future. At the end of the discussion, Simson added, "In the future, e-sports will not die, only games and trends will change".
Written by: Laili Rahmawati
CfDS (Center for Digital Society) UGM is a multi-disciplinary research center that is established under the Faculty of Social & Political Sciences University of Gadjah Mada. This research center is built upon the concern over the contemporary dynamics of socio-political condition of the world that is accentuated by the impeccable influence of information technology. The phenomenon triggers the new patterns and complexities in the society, and thus requires new approaches in managing such complexities. Our research and other activities are based on spirits that is aligned with our motto, productive, innovative, & influential.