Singapore’s telco company Singtel just announced that it will provide sponsorship for gamers who will represent Singapore in SEA Games. The gamers will receive financial support for overseas training stints as well as study stipends, as reported by The Straits Times.

According to a source, the sponsorship amount could boast at least five figures because it could involve up to 30 people, including players and coaches.

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This November, SEA Games that will be hosted in the Philippines will feature five games for the first e-sports category ever. The local qualification round will be held this coming April.

Along with the players and coaches financial support, the telco also announced one-year sponsorship deals for three new brand ambassadors: professional gamer and Street Fighter world champion Ho Kun Xian; and e-sports organisations Resurgence and Asterisk.

“E-sports is not just for fun, it’s actually serious business. We can grow a whole industry cluster around e-sports and different segments of the economy and workforce can get involved, such as large-scale events hosted in Singapore,” said Senior Minister of State for Education Chee Hong Tat, who was the guest of honor at the Singtel launch ceremony.

Singtel’s involvement in the e-sports industry was deepened after the success of its first gaming tournament last October, which offered US$300,000 in prize money and managed to attract 13 million online viewers for the finals.

“200 million among our 675 million customers are mobile gamers, and they are driving data usage growth across the region so us going into e-sports is something that makes sense as a business,” said Arthur Lang, chief executive officer of Singtel’s International Group.

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Singtel’s e-sports planning has been mapped out with the launching of community leagues for tertiary institutions in Singapore as well as the expansion plan of its PVP Esports Championship to the regional level later this year. It said it will provide more services such as e-wallet for in-app purchases and content targeted at mobile gamers, one of them being a potential Huawei-collaboration cloud gaming.

Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash