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Vietnam to host annual national esports contests

By Dang Khoa   January 16, 2021 | 12:44 am PT
Vietnam to host annual national esports contests
Men playing video games at a net café in Hanoi in 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Bao Nam.
Vietnam Recreational and Electronic Sport Association (VIRESA) plans on launching annual tournaments and publishing a white book on the local esports scene.

The association said at a conference earlier this week it would host professional and varsity level tournaments, Vietnam Esports Championship (VEC) and University Esport Championship (UEC), starting this year.

VEC is designed with the purpose of recruiting Vietnamese representatives to compete in international arenas. Teams will have to register online at the tournament's official website and compete in city and provincial qualifiers before heading to regional and national events. UEC will be open to semi-professional players.

VIRESA has yet to decide which and how many games to include per league, but is considering 10 disciplines, featuring one PlayStation, four computer and five mobile games.

These are: League of Legends: Wild Rift, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Mobile, Arena of Valor, Free Fire, League of Legends, Crossfire, Dota 2, Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA Online 4.

VIRESA further plans to debut an annual white book containing statistics, overall performance data and related content on local esports teams and the industry itself. It will also provide updates on the latest global trends, including a perspective on esports economy, and its digital transformation.

The publication will be designed to help individuals and organizations operate in an effective manner and promote the development of a professional esports environment in Vietnam.

Dang Thai Son, board member of the VIRESA executive committee, said the Vietnamese version of the white book would be officially released on Feb. 1 on the association's website, while the English version will be released at the end of February.

Vietnam has named esports as one of 40 disciplines of the 31th SEA Games, scheduled to be held from Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 in Hanoi.

The country had the highest number of adult gamers in the world in 2020. Ninety four percent of participants said they gamed at least occasionally while nearly 20 percent said they were frequent gamers, according to a survey released by German data portal Statista late last year.

In a different report, Statista projected online game revenues in the country last year to top $10.1 million, up 16 percent from 2019.

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