Infofed to open B50m eSports arena by June
Infofed, a local developer of virtual reality and drones, is moving into the eSports arena to cash in on the segment's booming popularity.
The company has invested 50 million baht to open the Thailand eSport Arena, the country's largest such venue, by June.
"ESports enthusiasts will be better motivated with the eSport Arena, as they can practise regularly and have a known space for competition," said chief executive and founder Jirayod Theppipit. "The arena will be a digital sports battlefield for everyone, and this will change the mindset of Thai society, where game addiction is considered bad. The players are national athletes."
The video games require players to be disciplined so they can earn money, making it a profession, he said.
ESports has been recognised by the Sports Authority of Thailand as a type of sport, with 300 million baht earmarked to groom at least 2,000 eSports athletes.
ESports enthusiasts are looking to be put on the national agenda. In 2022, eSports will be part of the Asian Games. The opening of Thailand eSports Arena will lead Thai eSports athletes to compete in regional and global tournaments, Mr Jirayod said.
Located in a 1,000-square-metre venue at The Street Ratchada, the arena is equipped with 100 high-performance computers. The venue will accommodate all leagues and tournaments, and can support expansion of up to 5,000 sq m.
Moreover, the eSport Arena also has an eSport Academy, an institution aiming to provide knowledge and techniques to eSports enthusiasts.
Mr Jirayod said there are 1.1 million eSports players in Thailand, compared with 9.5 million in Southeast Asia.
"Our major source of revenue, about 70%, will come from drink sponsors or other brands who use eSports as a marketing channel and whose target groups are young people, 10 to 25 years old," he said.
ESports is gaining in popularity worldwide, particularly in the US, China, South Korea, the Philippines and Thailand.