AIS makes e-sports play with studio
Booming gaming market worth B20bn
Advanced Info Service (AIS), the largest mobile operator by subscribers, has unveiled an e-sports studio at Samyan Mitrtown to serve as a gathering place for gamers, part of the company's move to cash in on the flourishing 20-billion-baht market.
The facility is expected to provide an immersive experience for gamers. Event organisers and brands can also use the location to conduct events through both online and offline channels, including e-sports competitions, live conferences, product launches and social sharing.
The move is also part of efforts to turn Thailand into a hub of e-sports in Asean, said AIS chief consumer business Pratthana Leelapanang.
He said the company recognises the potential in e-sports, which could serve as an engine to revitalise the country's digital economy.
AIS aims to be at the centre of the e-sports industry, as the new studio is "the most advanced community for gamers and the new generation in Thailand", Mr Pratthana said.
In Thailand, e-sports participants numbered 1.8 million in 2017, 2.6 million in 2018, 3.3 million in 2019 and 4.1 million as of June this year.
The total rose an average of 30% a year.
AIS specified five reasons the studio should be a success.
First, the company can provide an effective telecom network for e-sports through 5G, WiFi 6 and AIS Fibre, with a maximum speed of 1,000 megabits per seconds.
Second, the studio will serve as a new meeting point for gamers in all networks, not only AIS, and can be accessed around the clock for free. Usage of the facility will be priced affordably, Mr Pratthana said.
Third, the facility will provide the most up-to-date version of the gaming specs and computers, as well as live streaming tools.
Fourth, the battle arena will come with high-end tournament equipment.
Fifth, the facility will have a 24-hour Starbucks vending machine selling coffee, the first in the country.
Mr Pratthana declined to clarify the investment cost for the studio.
"E-sports can help develop digital skills for Thais," he said. "E-sports can change the image of gaming addicts to professional e-sports athletes who can make earnings for themselves."
The AIS e-sports studio at Samyan Mitrtown provides an immersive experience for gamers. *No photo credit*