Esports was recognised as an official sport by the Ministry of Youth & Sports in 2019 and has seen rapid growth thanks to the sustained efforts of the Sri Lanka Esports Association (SLESA) – the official governing body for Esports in Sri Lanka. With many international Esports events on the horizon, SLESA will launch the “Sri Lanka Esports Nationals 2022”, the national team selection trials, to choose Esports athletes to represent Sri Lanka at international Esports events. The trials are powered by SLESA’s partners – Dialog, the main sponsor and Gamer.LK, the strategic partner.
The selection trials will take place across several popular Esports titles such as PUBG Mobile, FIFA 21 (PC), Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, Mobile Legends, Rocket League, eFootball PES 21, Street Fighter V (PC) and Tekken 7 (PC) as well as titles such as Arena of Valor, Hearthstone and Dream Three Kingdoms 2. Those who make it to the top 3 in each game title will make their way into the National Esports player pool.
SLESA, founded in 2012 by Gamer.LK has established a National Esports ranking system that is regularly updated to recognise the nation’s best players. Alongside the qualifiers of the Sri Lanka Esports Nationals 2022, the top 3 players and teams from each game title in the National Esports ranking system will also make it into the national player pool. The Selection Committee of SLESA will thereafter select Esports Athletes from this pool to form the National Esports team that will represent the nation at the Commonwealth Esports Championship in August, the Asian Games 2022 in September, IESF 2022 World Esports Championship in November, World Esports League and the GEF Global Esports Games in December.
“Esports has been identified as the fastest growing sport in Sri Lanka and the Esports Nationals provides the perfect opportunity for the next generation of Esports athletes to step up,” said Ramesh Liyanage, Secretary of SLESA.
Dialog is the main sponsor of the National Esports team. As one of Sri Lanka’s largest telecom service providers, Dialog is known for their home broadband and wide range of data plans, connecting gamers all around Sri Lanka. Its gaming subsidiary, Dialog Gaming, hosts gaming and Esports competitions and has recently collaborated with local developers to launch MegaPlay, an all-in-one e-Gaming mobile app, featuring a gamut of hyper-casual games.
Gamer.LK, Sri Lanka’s premier Esports company is the Strategic Partner for the National Esports Team. At the forefront of Sri Lanka’s Esports industry, Gamer.LK’s consistent efforts in organising Esports tournaments and activities have caused a rapid growth in Sri Lankan Esports over the last decade.
Gamer.LK’s Inter-School Esports Championship powered by Samsung Sri Lanka came to an exciting close with Gateway Colombo defending the title for the fifth consecutive year. The Championship which is organised by Gamer.LK, the leader in Esports in Sri Lanka saw students from across Sri Lanka battling it out across 20 popular gaming titles and representing their school in Esports.
Esports, short for Electronic Sports, is the competitive play of video games – an officially recognised sport in Sri Lanka by the Ministry of Sports. Gamer.LK began the Championship in 2016 with the intention of showcasing the positive benefits that structured and regulated Esports at a school-level can have.
The Championship saw over 140 schools take part as the event moved to a completely online format owing to the ongoing pandemic situation. Gateway College Colombo put on an impressive display securing the most gold medals to secure the Championship title with Ananda College Colombo and OKI International School Wattala coming in joint second place.
In addition, Colombo South International College, Dharmapala Vidyalaya Pannipitiya, Fetteresso Tamil Vidyalaya Bogawantalawa, Isipathana College Colombo, Sri Chandananda Buddhist College Kandy, St Marys College Negombo, Vidyartha College Kandy and Visakha Vidyalaya Colombo picked up gold medals in the tournament.
“Since Esports is centered around the recreational video games that students play at home, many parents and teachers struggle to understand how this extracurricular can support students’ educational goals. To properly embrace Esports in education, and harness its potential, one must think beyond the games. Gateway participates in structured programmes like the Inter-School Esports Championship organized by Gamer.LK that provides students an opportunity to hone leadership skills, sportsmanship, and communication skills as well as critical thinking, problem solving, interaction and collaboration as they play. With Esports included in the next Asian games and with prospects of being included in Olympics in the future, Gateway is proud to be the winners of this year’s Inter-School Esports Championship and for retaining the Championship for five consecutive years.” stated Surani Maithripala, Team Leader, Change Management – Gateway Group of Schools.
Samsung Sri Lanka was the title sponsor for the Championship. Samsung has been at the forefront of developing products and services for gamers and promoting Esports in Sri Lanka over the years, as it was identified as the fastest growing sport in the country.
The Championship is set to return for its sixth edition in September 2022.
Esports has been growing rapidly over the last few years in Sri Lanka with an exponential number of players entering what is widely regarded as the “fastest growing sport” in Sri Lanka. Perera and Sons partnered with Gamer.LK in 2019 and stepped into the fray to amplify the local Esports culture with two massive online championships featuring popular Esports titles.
This year, Perera and Sons returns in partnership with Gamer.LK to launch the second edition of the championships, the PUBG Mobile P&S Series and the P&S Free Fire Contenders featuring Sri Lanka’s most popular Esports titles. Both championships will be team based battle royale tournaments, starting off with qualifier group stages progressing to knockout based semi-final and final rounds.
Perera and Sons has upped the ante this year for both tournaments with a prize pool of Rs. 150,000 for the PUBG Mobile P&S Series and a prize pool of Rs. 50,000 for the P&S Free Fire Contenders.
Both championships are officially endorsed by the Sri Lanka Esports Association and results will contribute to national player rankings. This significantly opens up opportunities for local players who – based on their performance and subsequent ranking – could be eligible for national Esports team roster consideration. The PUBG Mobile P&S Series is also endorsed by the developers of PUBG Mobile, Tencent Holdings, making it an internationally recognized tournament.
Last year’s championships by Perera and Sons received a massive amount of interest and engagement from the Sri Lankan gaming and Esports community with over 170,000 viewers tuning in, a social reach of 2 million, and over 1,300 players participating.
Perera and Sons has been a household brand for over a century, bringing people together through its meals. While last year’s championships upheld this enriching tradition through various engagements, this year’s championships promise to take it even further. Anyone who registers for the championships will also be registered for the Perera and Sons Family First loyalty program which entitles its members to a range of exclusive benefits and privileges. The gaming and Esports community will also get to be a part of uplifting the lives of Sri Lankans through the Perera and Sons Manumehewara CSR initiative.
“When we first partnered with Gamer.LK we saw how Esports is more than just a sport, and brings people of all walks of life together in a supportive and ever evolving culture. Esports is the future of all sports, and with the Asian Games 2022 including Esports as medal events we are committed to supporting both players and the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka as they take Sri Lankan Esports to the world” Perera & Sons Managing Director Gihan Perera stated.
Both championships are poised to be novel experiences for the Sri Lankan gaming and Esports community. Players can now register teams for both tournaments at https://gamer.lk/pereraandsons
Sri Lankan Esports athletes raised our nation’s flag high at the inaugural Global Esports Games organized by the Global Esports Federation. The Games began with Regional Qualifier Tournaments, followed by the World Finals in Singapore from 17th to 19th December 2021. Sri Lanka Esports sent a national esports athlete squad of 13 Players ensuring representation for each title at the games; hosted Dota 2, eFootball 2022 and Street Fighter 5
Competing in the women’s segment were Sri Lanka’s first National Women’s Dota 2 Team, Tikiri Diasena (Stardust), Zahra Thajudeen (Nerd), Nardhya Grero(Prince$$), Semini Perera (JollyGood!), Jessica Devendra (Chansica) and Nadeeshani Jayasinghe (FoXy).
The National Men’s Dota 2 Team; Aarathanan Sivasubramaniam (Prince SL), Ravindu Sama Daniel (AB), Deloshaan Logeswaran (Matrix), Matheesha Madhava, and Muksith Ajwath (Tenza Zengetsu) competed in the open segment of DOTA 2.
Mohammed Shihab Mohammed Rizan and Malindra ‘WarPenguin’ Perera represented Sri Lanka in the solo games eFootball 2022 and Street Fighter 5 respectively.
Both Sri Lankan Dota 2 teams took part in the regional qualifiers wherein the men’s team competed against Brunei, Pakistan and Nepal. Sri Lanka’s Women’s Dota 2 team played their first international match ever in the Regional Qualifiers against Mongolia. Both teams played excellently but couldn’t move forward.
Mohammed Shihab and Malindra Perera, took part in the grand finals of the Global Esports Games 2021 in Singapore where both athletes built connections, attended esports forums and gathered experience for Sri Lankan esports. This was Mohammed Shihab’s second Grand Finals placement in 2021 following just a month after his run at the IESF World Championship.
On 17th of December, the grand finals were launched. Mohammed Shihab was up against Slovakia and Syria in the group stage where after 4 nail-biting games, Syria moved forward. Malindra Perera faced Brunei, Pakistan and Nepal in the group stage and won against Brunei, but faced losses to Pakistan and Nepal.
Backed by the strength of its main sponsor Dialog, Official Gaming Laptop partner Asus Republic of Gamers and strategic partner Gamer.LK, Sri Lanka Esports’ performance at the Global Esports Games 2021 is a significant step towards growth in international esports.
As one of Sri Lanka’s largest telecom service providers Dialog is a foundation for the national esports ecosystem. Dialog’s gaming subsidiary Dialog Gaming, also focuses on cultivating the Sri Lankan gaming and esports environment through competitions and collaborations.
ASUS Republic of Gamers, brings a range of high end gaming laptops to Sri Lanka’s gamers and their partnership ensures our team has access to the best gear to drive their sport.
Gamer.LK has spearheaded the nation’s gaming scene for over 13 years and serves as Sri Lanka Esports’ direct connection to the national gaming community cultivating gamers from all levels.
Despite many setbacks 2021 has been productive for Sri Lankan esports. With many international events on the horizon including the Asian Games where a range of esports titles will be included as medal events, Sri Lanka Esports will continue to groom its athletes to carry our nation from strength to strength.
Sri Lanka Esports hoisted the national flag at yet another International Esports event earlier last month, the IESF Esports World Championship 2021. Organized by the International Esports Federation (IESF), this year’s championship hosted at Eilat, Israel was the 13th instalment since its inception in 2009.
The grand finals of the championship also held significance as one of the first non-virtual Esports events since the pandemic and brought together finalists from 85 nations to a physical competition.
The IESF Esports World Championship is the Esports parallel to the Olympics, wherein each nation brings forward their finest athletes to compete across multiple game titles. This year, the championship had four official titles: DOTA 2, Counter Strike Global Offensive, Tekken 7 and eFootball 2021, with Audition being held as a promotional title. This year the Championship also had a prize pool of USD 50,000.
Safwan ‘CB’ Mansoor playing Audition and Mohammed Shihab Mohammed Rizan playing eFootball 2022 made it through to the physical Grand Finals in Israel.
Mohammed Shihab Mohammed Rizan is one of the nation’s finest eFootball players. He represented Sri Lanka at the Asian Games 2018 Regional Qualifiers for Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) as part of the team of National Esports Athletes by Sri Lanka Esports. He has continued his journey as an athlete, gaining experience with each encounter he faces. He was Sri Lanka’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony of this year’s World Championship. At the grand finals, Shihab went head to head against Nigeria, Georgia, Mongolia, and Mexico in eFootball 2021 and despite a valiant effort was unable to acquire a placement.
Safwan ‘CB’ Mansoor is a prolific Esports athlete within Sri Lanka and spearheads one of the nation’s leading Esports clans – Phoenix Gaming. Despite his focus on racing and football games, Safwan proved his more recent foray into Audition more than successful at the IESF World Championship 2021. After a series of intense matches against Thailand, Brazil, Peru and Korea in the grand finals, Safwan successfully clinched fourth place for Sri Lanka by beating Esports juggernauts South Korea.
Sri Lanka Esports is backed by the strength and commitment of its main sponsor Dialog and geared with Asus Republic of Gamers as the Official Gaming Laptop partner alongside Gamer.LK as the strategic partner.
As one of Sri Lanka’s largest telecom service providers, Dialog is known for their home broadband and wide range of data plans, which connects gamers all around the country. Dialog also has a gaming subsidiary called Dialog Gaming, which hosts gaming and Esports competitions. Recently, Dialog Gaming in collaboration with local developers launched MegaPlay, an all-in-one e-Gaming mobile app, featuring a gamut of hyper-casual games, to the delight of gamers island-wide.
ASUS Republic of Gamers, with their lineup of high end gaming laptops, which include the Zephyrus, Zephyrus Duo, Strix Scar and ROG Flow series, offers gamers a complete line of innovative products known for performance and quality, such as their; laptops, desktops, motherboards, graphics cards, monitors, audio equipment, routers and peripherals. ROG also participates in and sponsors major local & international gaming events.
Along with the support of these partnerships, each tournament brings the athletes a wealth of experience laying the foundation for our nation to make waves in the global stage of Esports in the near future.