Today, the Malaysian Overwatch team regretfully announced that they will not be able to compete in the upcoming 2019 Overwatch World Cup at BlizzCon, California.
Based on their statement, the forced withdrawal was due to lack of funds.
The team did not have enough money for the players to travel to the competition and take part.
Among the efforts made by the team to raise funds included organising a fundraising drive by selling jerseys and requesting assistance from several national companies – which were flatly turned down.
The team was also promised allocated funds by the Youth and Sports Ministry, however, they were informed last minute that the funds would only be available by the time the Overwatch World Cup 2019 ends.
The statement ends saying that they hope the funds promised to them is carried forward to be used by the team for next year’s competition, as well as to further grow the Overwatch community in the country.
Upon hearing the news, several social media users called out to the Youth and Sports Minister, Syed Saddiq for some help.
Team @malaysiaowwc represent Malaysia ke Overwatch WorldCup 2019 withdraw dari pertandingan tersebut kerana tidak cukup dana.
— Pie’e ⚡️ (@shafieisonline) October 16, 2019
“National team representing Malaysia at the 2019 Overwatch World Cup has withdrawn from the international competition due to lack of funds.
I kindly request that YB Syed Saddiq help manage this unfortunate issue.”
So no Team Malaysia at the Overwatch World Cup.
— ᴊᴏᴇ ʟᴇᴇ 🇲🇾 (@klubbkiddkl) October 16, 2019
10mil under Budget 2019
20mil under Budget 2020
Yet still cant support @malaysiaowwc to this year’s event
So, camana ni @SyedSaddiq
This was supposed to be a litmus test of inclusivity as Overwatch may not be highly visible on your or your army of advisors/officials
— Syefri Zulkefli (@chapree) October 16, 2019
Surprisingly, the minister replied to the tweets.
He explained that government assistance like these take time, especially considering it was the first time such assistance was being given.
He also informed his followers that the allocated funds shared between Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and his ministry was only received last month and assured them that his ministry is committed to helping out the national Overwatch community.
Peruntukan RM60,000 ke World Cup telah pun diluluskan. Proses menyalurkan bantuan mengambil sedikit masa kerana ini kali pertama bantuan sebegini wujud. Kami komited membantu komuniti Overwatch.
RM10 juta dikongsi bersama MDEC & KBS hanya menerima peruntukan pada bulan lepas😅 https://t.co/Dgkk1hm7sw
— Syed Saddiq (@SyedSaddiq) October 16, 2019
This incident is truly disappointing considering e-sports has already been recognised as a legitimate sport in Malaysia, meaning professional e-sports players are considered athletes deserving of assistance and acknowledgement.
FYI, Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer video game developed and published by American video game developer, Blizzard Entertainment.
Blizzard Entertainment hosted their first International Overwatch World Cup e-sports even during their Blizzcon event in November 2016 and the competition has become an annual instalment with this year being the fourth time.
Teams from across the globe take part in the annual event, with common competing countries being the United States, Canada, China, France and South Korea.
Miss watching Team Malaysia in action? You can relieve the action vs Team India at these link! Watch now! #MYtime 🇲🇾
— Team Malaysia Overwatch (@malaysiaowwc) October 8, 2019
Yesterday, the Hong Kong Overwatch team confirmed their entry to the international competition.
Starving forensic investigator turned writer cause she couldn’t find a job. Used to search for killers now searches for killer stories.