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Jakarta Post

Game on: Free Fire Champions Cup 2020 gives Indonesia foothold in e-sports

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, February 11, 2020   /   07:40 pm
Game on: Free Fire Champions Cup 2020 gives Indonesia foothold in e-sports Stakeholders in the new e-sport industry (left to right) Garena Indonesia director Hans Kurniadi Saleh, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio and Youth and Sports Ministry secretary Gatot S. Dewobroto pose for a photograph during the presser of the 2020 Free Fire Championship in Jakarta on Tuesday. (The Jakarta Post/Courtesy of Garena Indonesia )

Garena Indonesia, a unit of Singapore-based internet and mobile provider Garena, has praised Indonesia for its growing role and reputation in e-sports. The firm said the country was ready to take the next step and organize bigger e-sport events.

Garena Indonesia director Hans Kurniadi Saleh Indonesia’s said rapid growth of e-sports had enabled the country to host the Free Fire Champions Cup 2020 (named after the Free Fire online strategy game) slated to be held on April 19. The championship would offer winners cash prizes totaling Rp 8.18 billion.

“Only countries with great e-sport growth rates can host the Free Fire world championship. Indonesia had to go through a tight bidding process to gain this opportunity. This will hugely contribute to the country’s bid to develop its digital economy,” he told a press conference on Tuesday.

Twelve selected e-sport teams from Asia, America, Europe and Africa are to attend the championship.

So far, only Thailand has hosted the Free Fire championship in the region, namely the 2019 Free Fire Championship held in Bangkok, which Indonesia’s team EVOS won.

Youth and Sports Ministry secretary Gatot S. Dewobroto, who attended the Tuesday’s press conference, expects the upcoming event to lure not only more players to seriously train and compete in this relatively new sports but also to inspire local developers to produce high-quality online games.

“The government has thrown its full support behind the development of this sport in the hope that it will attract more players and thus grow the local online game industry,” he said.

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio said he expected the event to also lure tourists to the country, who would show an interest not only in the tournament but also in other tourist attractions.

“A good and memorable event would leave a good [impression] on visitors and would likely make them want to come back for more visits,” Wishnutama said.