SINGAPORE – Video gaming enthusiasts who are remaining at house throughout the breaker period will now have a platform to get in touch with others during this Covid-19 pandemic with the launch of the Singapore E-sports Association’s (SGEA) initiative, #SGPlaysTogether, on Monday (May 18).

As part of the initiative, which will run till the end of June, SGEA will provide support to numerous video gaming communities here to run tournaments, and conduct school outreach programmes with the Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association (Scoga).

SGEA president Ng Chong Geng stated: “#SGPlaysTogether encourages youths to bond online by playing video games that they like, following Singapore’s call through the #SGUnited message on the value of Singaporeans, including youths, to exercise their part in the fight to protect one another and conserve lives in the middle of the pandemic.”

SGEA intends to back up to 10 video gaming neighborhoods – a neighborhood is a gaming title such as Fifa – and engage 300 to 500 players per neighborhood.

Community leaders send their proposals through an online type with information such as competition dates and competitors structure, and SGEA will choose projects to support based upon whether the plans are executable.

Help is offered in the type of Care Packages, an assortment of items and coupons worth $3,000 to $5,000, and assist with organising the tournament or occasion if required.

Social enterprise SOOS OIO, which uses video gaming to empower the youth through arranging workshops and competitions in the community, is creating a Dota 2 workshop and tele-matches for 40 to 60 individuals as part of #SGPlaysTogether.

The online workshop will happen on May 26, while the tele-matches will be used the weekends of May 30-31 and June 6-7.

Ruth Lim, an e-sports coach at SOOS OIO, stated: “There are a lot of neighborhood occasions and competitions now, however it may be frightening for those who play delicately. When we discovered the initiative, it was an opportunity to actually run it as a community occasion, even for those without any competitive experience.”

The National University of Singapore E-gaming Society (NUSEG) is also organising a post-finals celebration event for the school comprising 7 games: League of Legends, Overwatch, Group Battle Methods, Super Smash Bros, Rainbow 6 Siege, Dota 2 and Hearthstone.

NUSEG president Sean Heng said: “When I first saw it, I was encouraged because there is assistance for us in the gaming neighborhood. Even though NUSEG has been here for 13 years, we did not have support from the Government to organise competitions, we constantly needed to find our own sponsors and people who are similar.”

” It is good getting acknowledgment and the aid from the initiative, and I am eagerly anticipating more of these initiatives in the future.”

As part of its school outreach efforts, SGEA, together with Scoga, is intending to connect to over 10 schools, which include the Institute of Technical Education, polytechnics and universities, to provide e-sports and skill advancement programmes.

Both associations will also work with students to arrange tournaments within the school gaming neighborhood.

Extra reporting by Neo Yee Pung