AIS woos more aspiring e-sports casters
Leading telecom operator Advanced Info Service (AIS) is teaming up with partners in a bid to produce professional e-sports casters through its competition and training programme, as it aims to enhance the sector's ecosystem and digital economy.
The country's biggest mobile operator by subscriber base yesterday launched the second season of AIS eSports Young Caster Talent, a competition and training programme for e-sports casters as the audience base for this segment grows.
Rungthip Charusiripipat, head of gaming business at AIS, said game casters, streamers and commentators are gaining popularity.
The programme allows young people to upskill themselves to become e-sports casters. They could then go on to pursue other careers, such as e-sports producers or event organisers.
The gaming industry in Thailand is valued at 35 billion baht while e-sports still shares a small portion of the overall gaming industry, said Ms Rungthip.
According to gaming research firm NewZoo, the e-sports audience base in the country is expected to reach 5.1 million in 2022, up 20% year-on-year.
At the global level, the audience for e-sports is expected to reach 532 million this year, up 9% year-on-year.
Ms Rungthip said AIS's eSports business unit aims to level up the country's e-sports industry to reach the international standard by working with other partners to boost its ecosystem, including gaming devices, tournament managers and e-sports players.
"E-sports casting is another occupation that has sprung up from the growth of Thailand's e-sports industry," said Ms Rungthip.
This year's programme is divided into two categories.
The first concerns aspiring e-sports casters aged 12-17 with the application period starting in November. The 20 candidates selected will take part in the 24-hour e-sports caster training.
The other group involves aspiring e-sports casters aged 18 and above with the application period beginning on Oct 1. The 20 candidates selected will participate in the 30-hour training programme.
Each group will then select two winners who will have the opportunity to work with AIS eSports, which organises a number of national-level e-sports events.
The programme has been undertaken through partnership with e-sports platforms, such as Twitch Thailand and Spectre Esports Co, which is known as Cyclops.
The participants will learn from internationally-recognised professional e-sport casters from Cyclops while Twitch Thailand will invite influencers to share their experiences with them.
Treepob Tiangtrong, a founder of Spectre Esports, which provides learning materials in the programme, said casting e-sports is more than just a hobby.
People can become a professional e-sports caster, earning good money from this growing market which sees many competitions domestically and internationally.
"Developing e-sports casting skills to keep up with the industry's growth is another key factor enabling Thai e-sports to compete in the global market," said Mr Treepob.
There are only 20-25 e-sports casters in Thailand, which cannot catch up with demand in this burgeoning industry.
"Thailand and Vietnam are the two countries with competitive advantage in the e-sports business in the region," said Mr Treepob.
Jirattikarn Suthiwannarat, director of content at Twitch Thailand, said the programme will provide opportunities for e-sports casters to upskill themselves and better understand games and rules before starting e-sports casting for real.