Singtel Group announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Sunday at the PVP Esports Championship at Suntec City in Singapore. Singtel Group, which is comprised of the telecommunications company Singtel, as well as Australian subsidiary Optus and their regional partners Airtel, AIS, Globe and Telkomsel, signed the MOU to cooperate and leverage their partnership to grow the gaming and esports ecosystem in Southeast Asia, Australia and India.
Esports Insider attended the signing, with various business executives from the respective regions present. Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel International led the proceedings stating: “We want to excite them, delight them, engage them. We want to really make them feel. Across the group, we’re all trying to look for new exciting content, especially for our young audience. It’s important for people who are gamers, that we need to be authentic. So we’ve tried to get people that really know gaming. This is what we want to do.”
While the group of executives didn’t announce anything concrete, the MOU serves as a commitment by the companies to support the growth of esports in some form. Curiously, however, the group seemed intent on focusing their efforts on mobile games. Arthur Lang said: “The region we cover, is truly a mobile first experience. We own this space, so naturally, we should be the ones to plant the flag in this space. Games started on the PC and console but over the next few years the pipeline will shift to mobile, and we want to be there. We are serious about this, the six of us want to plant this flag and are serious about gaming and esports. We have a right to play and to win in this space.”
The sentiments were echoed by Benjamin Pommeraud, Senior Advisor at Singtel: “Our approach as a region is to identify which games overall are going to appreciate. DOTA is one of those games, but we are also a mobile player, so choosing a mobile game is important to us. We will always ask ourselves what is the most relevant game for our customers and audience.”
Madhur Bhagat, Head of Strategy and Alliances from Indian telco Airtel agreed, “PC never took off because of poor penetration in India, so there’s a lot of casual gaming. We see our audience picking up gaming in mass numbers so we feel it’s the right opportunity to collaborate across the group. Titles may come and go but we’re here to stay.”
Esports Insider says: This marks an exciting development in the region moving forward. Though they have not committed to a solid framework of events or titles, the signing of the MOU proves that this is larger than a simple platitude given at the closing of a tournament. The gathering of six large telecommunications companies united under a common goal spells good things for the region next year. While there may not necessarily be a circuit, we expect to see numerous offline tournaments throughout the region, which will be a welcome and long overdue sight.