Yoodo is one of the only telco brands in Malaysia that has displayed a deep and lasting investment in the local esports scene. We had the privilege of speaking to Mr. Chow Tuck Mun, the head of Yoodo, regarding his thoughts on the state of esports as well as his outlook for the future.
1. What do you think about the overall outlook of Malaysia's esports and gaming industry?
Malaysia definitely has a growing esports and gaming industry. It was reported that in 2018, the industry contributed close to RM500 million to Malaysia’s overall revenue.
But it is not just about the ringgits and sens, at Yoodo we believe in supporting our communities and the esports community is huge. There are over 20 million gamers in Malaysia – whether casual or hardcore.
In just a few short years, our nation has produced some of the most talented gamers within the region – as evidenced by the stellar performance of Malaysia’s PUBG MOBILE teams (including Yoodo Gank) in regional tournaments.
Malaysia is currently an attractive esports market not only to gaming companies but also to global teams such as Team Secret and regional teams like Evos and Resurgence coming into our shores and establishing their own local teams.
Despite the unprecedented year which has impacted so many segments of our economy, gaming and esports activities have continued to thrive. In fact, we can say the activities have only risen this year, thanks to its nature that makes it so easily to implement a fully digital approach – something Yoodo and esports share in common.
2. What are some of the strategies implemented during Yoodo’s journey in esports?
Our first venture was through the PUBG Mobile National Championship (PMNC) 2018, where we were the Official Digital Telco. The winners of that year’s championship really impressed us with their talent and potential, and we decided to sign them up to launch the very first Telco-led esports team, now known as Yoodo Gank.
From there we have gone on to spearhead numerous esports tournaments including the 2019 and 2020 editions of PMNC as well as launching and continuing to support the PUBG MOBILE Campus Championship (PMCC) – the 2020 season of which has only just concluded.
We also maintain an esports community to keep our audiences up to date about the latest esports happenings in the region and listen to them about what we can do for the scene. Thanks to all their feedback, we have introduced gaming specific data add-ons for PUBG MOBILE, Call of Duty Mobile, Arena of Valor and MLBB, which users can add to their already customisable mobile plans.
We also signed on to sponsor tournaments for other games including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Call of Duty Mobile, Arena of Valor and more.
We have spread our wings to support other esports teams as well, including one of the nation’s most popular MLBB teams – GeekFam MLBB as well as the competitive fighting game roster of Yoodo FV.
Combined, all of these efforts have undoubtedly solidified Yoodo’s position as the go to Telco for gamers and at the same time create a gaming culture so that the local scene can continue to thrive.
3. What is your vision for empowering local talent?
We believe that there is an abundance of untapped potential in Malaysia’s talent pool and specifically within the esports scene. Yoodo is all about supporting these local talents – giving them the right platform to hone and show off their skills.
From grassroot tournaments such as the recent PMCC, Kejohanan Esukan Kampus, all the way to MLBB Professional League – we do our best to ensure that local talents are given a chance to shine.
We are also seeking to unearth esports talents beyond just gamers. The PMCC also featured a Caster Search competition to also give a platform for up and coming casters to showcase their talents.
Ultimately our vision is to empower these talents to make it big not just here in Malaysia but also across the world – to solidify Malaysia’s position within the global esports arena.
Of course, we can’t do this alone. The local esports ecosystem needs support from other parties including private organisations as well as the Government. Therefore, we believe that collaboration is needed for the industry to continue to grow and thrive.
4. What are your future esports-related plans and targets?
We have just wrapped up the 2020 edition of PMCC and Yoodo FV Major Cup 2020. Both tournaments received great support from participants and gaming fans alike, so we are thankful for that.
We definitely have bigger and better things lined up for 2021 which we’ll reveal in due time. What I can guarantee is that Yoodo will continue to invest in supporting the community with the aim of maintaining our dominant position as the most supportive Telco in esports.
5. Why did Yoodo choose to target esports as an avenue for expansion?
Like I mentioned earlier, there was certainly a strong business reason for investing in esports. The community is huge and continues to grow and they are data users. So naturally, we saw big potential for business growth within the sector.
But certainly, it was more than just a business decision for us. Even back then, we had a passion for gaming, and it has only grown as we continue to engage and invest in this community. Gaming fans are unique in their passion and we love supporting them. More than that, we are passionate about championing Malaysia and Malaysians. The opportunities for this are vast in esports and we hope to continue to help talented Malaysian esports athletes achieve even more in the future.
6. Will Yoodo be acquiring esports teams for other game titles in the future?
The possibility is always there for us. The success of Yoodo Gank, and their journey from PMNC 2018 champions to PMPL SEA champions, which made many Malaysians proud, showed us that there’s plenty of untapped potential right here in our community.
Since signing on Yoodo Gank we have also collaborated with Flash Vision to develop Yoodo FV – teams in the fighting games Street Fighter V and Tekken 7, and more recently, a collaboration with GeekFam MLBB.
We’re always on the lookout for local talent to support and empower. If there’s any upcoming esports team that catches our eye – in any game, – we will definitely be more than happy to look into how we can support them.
7. Apart from professional esports players, is Yoodo planning to invest in other roles in the esports ecosystem?
Thus far Yoodo has played an active role within the esports community, with esports teams and tournaments. But we do realise there are more avenues within gaming and esports that could do with support too.
We do know that streaming has also continued to grow into one of the most watched content digitally. As such, in the coming year we are keen to increase our investment on this front.
8. What would you say is the defining factor that makes Yoodo the best choice for mobile gamers?
Yoodo is built from the ground up as the perfect Telco for gamers. Just like gamers, we are digital first – with every step of our consumer journey being through our app, from signing-up to billings and payments. We sport the nation’s largest 4G network which means gamers can play online from almost anywhere they want.
On top of that, we offer fully customisable plans that can give gamers the exact plans that they require including data heavy plans.
One feature that our gaming users love is our game specific add-ons, whether it is for PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, Arena of Valor or MLBB – we give gamers 20GB of app-specific high-speed data at unbeatable prices.
But what truly sets us apart is that we don’t just rollout products and features that support gamers – we literally and physically support them with numerous tournaments and on-ground initiatives that empower and connect the community.
We believe that no other Telco can boast the kind of commitment that Yoodo has for gamers. Gamers know that when they support Yoodo, they are supporting their own gaming communities. We are immensely proud of this and will look to maintain this position moving forward.
9. What are your opinions on youths choosing esports as their career path? What advice would you give them?
Recent years have proved that esports is a viable career for the truly dedicated gamers. Whether it is local esports athletes participating in and winning in regional and global events, or streamers who are raking in millions in revenue.
Careers in esports isn’t just limited to players. The ecosystem also includes the event organisers, coaches, team managers, casters and influencers. All these roles play an important part in the scene. Influencers for example, have the responsibility to help grow the industry and can be looked up to as role models.
For professional players, the advice will be to put in hard work. Talent needs dedication in order to obtain really succeed. I hope all those who aspire to be part of esports continue to stay dedicated and not let little setbacks get to them. I wish them all the best in their careers.
10. Last question, is there anything you would like to shoutout to Yoodo fans?
We just want every gamer out there to know that Yoodo is here to support and grow the gaming and esports community. We are firmly committed to it and we promise even more exciting gaming-centric initiatives and product features coming in 2021.
So if you are not on Yoodo yet, now is the perfect time to join and enjoy not only our products but also the unique user experience that we have to offer.
Bonus: What do you think of Salty News Network? :D
We love Salty News Network, your content is unique and always funny. It’s a site well suited for the modern consumer with all the relevant tech, gaming and digital lifestyle content. Yoodo always has a great experience working with you guys and we look forward to more in the future.