Friday, January 15, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday announced that an "exciting framework" for electronic sports, or e-sports, is likely to be revealed soon.
"E-sports will be [a] new sensation in Pakistan and the region exciting framework is in the offing," Fawad Chaudhry wrote on Twitter.
"Hope kids out there are all set to make it to top teams... wishing you all the best, guys," he added.
The minister had revealed a couple of days earlier that e-sports would now get the status of regular sports in the country.
Announcing the good news for Pakistan's gaming enthusiasts, Chaudhry had announced on Twitter that the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and the Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard "after which e-Sports will get regular sports status".
"If you are interested in video games, get ready and new opportunities are waiting for you," he had written.
The federal minister had voiced his concerns earlier when the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) was pondering permanent bans on various apps and services, including PUBG, the popular online battle-royale game officially known as PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
Following the PTA's warning to the apps over "immoral, obscene and vulgar content", Chaudhry shared his thoughts about the ongoing "moral policing and ban approach" in the country, saying it was not okay to go on banning apps left, right, and centre, as it would "destroy [Pakistani] tech industry".
Pakistan has a booming community of gamers just like the rest of the world, with the coronavirus lockdown bringing an exponential rise in the number of gamers and spectators alike.
One of Pakistan’s top gamers, Arslan ‘Ash’ Siddiqui, earlier told Geo Super that he "noticed an 80% increase in the number of gamers while online engagement during live streams has doubled”.
Insisting that contrary to popular belief, the pro gaming career was a sustainable one, Siddiqui urged for the need for familial support for rising gamers, terming it "a very respectable way to earn".
A collaboration last year between Pakistan and India in a PUBG tournament after New Delhi had banned the game "set a much-needed precedent for future partnerships between the two countries", Vice had reported.
According to the publication, Abdul Haseeb, a 21-year-old Pakistani who leads Freestyle Esports, had helped save India's slot at the PUBG Mobile Pro League (PMPL) South Asia qualifiers after Zeyan Shafiq, the 19-year-old, Anantnag-based founder of Stalwart Esports, reached out to their counterparts across the border.
Interestingly, it was Freestyle Esports that spearheaded a campaign in Pakistan to get the PUBG ban revoked.
The two groups, though separated by a border, have now established a new entity called Stalwart Freestyle after the gaming communities in India and Pakistan lauded them for the collaboration.