PHNOM PENH--Cambodian para E-sports players earned a bronze medal in the 12th ASEAN Para games, achieving a satisfactory result as the sport is included for the first time.
Starting with ambition, six Cambodian E-sport players hailed the result as a success for the team, who had trained for only one month before the June 4-5 competition.
Team member Kheng Sophorn said he was over the moon, and the result made him and the Cambodian citizens proud, hoping E-sports would be included in the next ASEAN Para games and represent Cambodia again.
"If there is a chance, my team and I will want to claim victory for Cambodia again," he said.
The Cambodian team included Cheom Chorn, Chok Phearak, Roeun Channy, Uk Viraksatya, and Vichet Sochea. Sophorn is the sub-player.
The team won the Thai squad 2-0 on June 5, claiming bronze, while the Philippines got gold and Malaysia got silver.
Thai players Krittayod Kaeokamma and Supaprom Tanasan said they were happy with the result despite the failure, as they had trained for only weeks.
Krittayod Kaeokamma perceived the competition as an experience, while Supaprom Tanasan said games naturally consist of winning and losing.
All the para E-sports athletes encouraged those, especially people with impairments, to challenge themselves by joining E-sports if they are genuinely fascinated by the games.
Promising future for E-sports
Hak Sambo, the organizer of para games E-sports, said her team came up with the idea and eventually got approval from the Cambodia SEA Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC) to include E-spots with the event of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
She deemed the organization a success, with many supporters and E-sports lovers showing up to cheer for the athletes.
However, there were some challenges with the process as it was included in the official game, meaning the medal was not counted in the medal tables.
"It's not official, so registration and some documents missed out," said Sambo, adding that the team has to run a few more steps to complete it.
Sambo and the athletes hoped E-sports be included in the next ASEAN Para Games so that the sector could be widely promoted.
"E-sports is not just you playing games," said Sambo. "People see it as bad behaviour. But actually, E-sports is also something that motivates people to do something good and makes them athletes who represent the nation."
Cambodian Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron said young people could pursue the game as their profession if they profoundly immerse themselves in the technology and learn the techniques.
"I encourage the Cambodian para E-sports athletes and the next generation to try to excel to become professional athletes as they can improve themselves in the field of technology, which is an open door for their future," Naron said.