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When it comes to e-sports, Asia is that one opponent that the global e-sports community need to beware about.

While the industry has gone through a long history in Southeast Asian countries, it has recently touched a new milestone when China was crowned gold medal winner in the first of six e-sports demonstration events taking place at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.

Various governments in Southeast Asia have begun running state-sponsored competitions in preparation of the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019 in the Philippines. Major tech companies such as Go-Jek have also begun investing in e-sports through its investment arm; more and more e-sports startups in the region were also raising significant funding, as their ability to compete with similar platforms from US and China were finally proven.

With all this exciting development, it is no wonder that Asia is considered as the next red hot arena for e-sports athletes. But what are the available opportunities for e-sports athletes in the region? How can they tap into it? What are the remaining challenges that they are facing?

To answer your burning questions, e27 has prepared a panel discussion called E-sports: Why Asia’s newest cool kid on the block has become an arena for professional athletes on the second day of Echelon Asia Summit, held at Singapore Expo on May 23-24.

Also Read: Singtel to back Singapore’s SEA Games e-sports team

The session will feature the following speakers:

Alan Chou, CEO,

As CEO of social marketplace platform for competitive video game and e-sports community, Chou has more than 10 years experience in the gaming business with over a dozen AAA game titles launched and credited.

Prior to, he was Director of Publishing for Southeast Asia at Blizzard where he led the team to 5x growth in revenue four years

With a strong background in building businesses and leading teams, Alan enjoys the challenge of pushing boundaries and in his own words “creating something from nothing”.

Benjamin Rynjah Goh, Regional Brand Manager, AirAsia

Goh started off his career in the finance industry before moving into advertising from Bloomberg TV Malaysia to BBDO. After two years at BBDO, he moved to AirAsia where he began by working on the branding operations in Singapore but has now shifted to managing the sport portfolio for the group.

Handling key sponsorships with organisations such as the UFC (professional e-sports team), Team Mineski, The KL2017 SEA Games as well as the recently concluded AFF Suzuki Cup, Ben also works closely with individual athletes that the brand use as ambassadors –from Roberto Carlos, Azizul Awang, to Tai Tuivasa– activating them in Malaysia, the region and beyond.

Also Read: DailySocial moves forward with launch of Hybrid, an Indonesian e-sports news platform

Rai Cockfield, CEO & Co-founder,

Prior to, Cockfield served as Director – Asia Pacific at global live streaming giant Twitch. For more than two years, he was responsible for expanding Twitch’s APAC Community of Broadcasters and Viewers. Combining previous community building and international operating experience, he developed an initial growth strategy for Twitch through content expansion, international product development, sales, corporate expansion, and infrastructure development.

The role had enabled him to develop his passion for supporting the rapidly growing community of digital content creators and “fall back in love” with popular game titles in his youth such as Street Fighter.

Prior to joining Twitch, Cockfield had lived in several countries in Asia and North America and has worked in various sectors from wine e-commerce, C2C marketplace, and even real estate developer.

Jason Ng, Vice President Strategic Partnership, Garena

Ng joined Garena in 2010 and is currently Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Garena. He is working with global leading game developers and managing hit games such as League of Legends and FIFA Online 4.

Prior to joining Garena, he provided technology consultancy to the Singapore government at the Infocomm Media Development Authority. Born and bred in Singapore, he completed his undergraduate degree in Imperial College, London, and his postgraduate degree in Stanford University, California.

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Image Credit: Andre Hunter on Unsplash