Thailand’s Support for eSports Helps Boost Gaming Market and New Professions

Thailand’s Support for eSports Helps Boost Gaming Market and New Professions

Thailand is one of several Asian countries that gives full support to the gaming industry by encouraging the promotion of esports as a legit sports activity Through the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), the Thai government plans to upgrade systems that will strengthen the foundations of esports, as doing so also underpins other related businesses and professions.

Currently, Thailand ranks 21st in the list of 100 countries with the highest winnings collected from esports tournaments, in which the country’s 1,100 competitive esports athletes won as much as $9,214, 591.00 According to Chutinat Wongsuban, NESDC’s Deputy Secretary General, the popularity of esports has grown tremendously in Thailand during the past decade, along with the continuing growth of the country’s gaming market.

Growth of Thailand’s eSports Population of Gamers and Audience

The most recent statistics show that in 2017, Thailand already had as many as 18.3 million gamers, which is about one-fourth of Thai’s population. That being the case, the NESDC Deputy Secretary strongly advocates for the government to further encourage game developers by offering assistance and tax incentives.

Aside from the growing number of players in Thailand, the number of spectators viewing esports tournaments in 2020 soared. Viewership comprises an estimated 2.6 million fans who streamed esports competitions online in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. The esports audience is expected to grow further by at least 30% in 2021, likely to increase streaming fees and eventually, ticket sales.

Thai Government’s Official Recognition of eSport as a Legit Sport Spurs the Creation of New Careers

In the economic front, the growing number of players and esports fans also spurred the creation of other careers and enterprises. The likes of which include game reviewers, game casters, tourney commentators, game referees, tournament organizers and streaming services.

To be more realistic, many highly skilled, top-ranking gamers also provide services as profile (โปรฟีฟาย) account players. The professional service and support are given to players who find it difficult to level up and attain higher ranks. Rank boosting enables weaker players to claim rank-associated rewards, including access to in-game weapons and cosmetics.

Although regarded as a form of cheating, rank-boosting is also one way by which newbies learn skills that take time and money to develop, if dependent on playing experiences alone. In the same context, some developers create apps that make rank-boosting services more viable for users, by having built-in anti detection measures.

Thailand’s Social Sector Calling for Laws to Protect Children Against Potential Harms of Gaming

However, certain sectors in Thailand’s society, such as parents, educators, and social health workers, have called attention to the lack of laws that oversee the gaming industry as a whole. Their main concerns are the potential adverse impacts of online gaming on the health of children.

At the very least, they want to see laws similar to those instituted by other countries, such as game ratings nased on age, limiting advertisements and promotions to adult audiences, as well as instituting guidelines for the supervision of esport tournaments and participants. .

At present, the only guidelines in place are administrative in nature, mostly applying only to video stores and Internet cafes with regard to duration of business hours and use of minors but without regard to appropriateness of gaming content.

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