One of the last things you’d think about if you’re asked to associate something with gaming would probably be big-name corporations—unless of course, they’re the ones who designed the game. As e-sports gains further recognition as a lucrative industry in several ways, more people are opening up to the idea of getting involved, including big corps.
The Corporate League (TCL), by The Gaming Company (TGC), is a league that meshes both worlds by providing an opportunity for corporations to battle each other on the virtual battlefield. Here’s how Arif, the project manager of The Corporates and an avid gamer since high school, first got the idea for something like TCL.
“When I was with AirAsia in 2015, we had the AirAsia Allstars Esports Club, and that’s where all the colleagues gathered and gamed together.”
Competing in several amateur leagues made him realize that there were working adults who would jump at the chance to showcase themselves in competitive gaming.
“This is where the idea came about and we partnered with TGC to make this official,” Arif said.
TGC, an e-sports and gaming marketing agency in SEA, has vast experience in the industry and is an established name within local and international events. After extensive planning, Season 1 of TCL was formally launched in the annual Comic Fiesta last year, with prominent corporations such as Media Prima, Shell, Petronas, PwC, and KPMG taking part.
With the Season 1 a success, they’ve returned with a bigger Season 2 this year, which officially kicked off on July 20, and it’ll end on October 1.
“Our goal for TCL is to enable companies to relate to their employees better and develop a strong business network between industries through eSports,” said Arif.
Filling a gap in e-sports events
TCL picks out one champion team per game who will get monetary rewards from a total prize pool of MYR 20,000, sponsored by HP Inc. Malaysia. However, you’d think that that’s not a huge amount of money per team, so aside from that, what other incentive do they have for joining TCL?
According to Arif, it’s because TCL is a new opportunity for corporate teams to feel and experience competitive tournaments.
“Majority of other tournaments are offered with wider player criteria such as students or the pros and the timing is usually challenging for the corporate players to comply.”
“TCL comes in and fills that gap by enabling the corporates to play competitively fairly, providing more opportunity on the same level of player (corporate VS corporate) and a real involvement into e-sports,” he explained.
To accommodate each team, as they comprise of white-collar workers and not dedicated e-sports athletes, a flexible schedule is enabled to minimize interruption to their work. The process for registration is simple: all the participating employees need to do is to fill out a form on the site, and upload their ICs. No fee is required to take part. However, some corporations require their teams to undergo a check and approval process, to ensure their brand isn’t misused.
Battle of the corporates
“This usually is on the use of their logo, but we will also insist the teams get approval from their HR to guarantee better clearance and ensure smooth participation throughout the whole league,” Arif explained.
One team from the same corporate competes against another team, usually in an MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) or a first-person shooter. The 4 games that can currently be competed in are: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile (PUBG Mobile), Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB).
Aside from PUBG Mobile, which only allows 4 players per team, the other games allow 5 players per team, and only one team per corporate can join this season.
Due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the entirety of Season 2 would be played from the players’ homes or other preferred locations, and not in a fixed physical location like last year’s Comic Fiesta.
The Corporate League’s popularity has grown, with 19 corporations competing this year in comparison to 12 corporations the year before. Many of the teams participating in this season are no exception, with a recent game featuring teams from Xerox and Shell. For the next eleven weeks, the corporates will continue to battle one another to come out on top as the corporate with the best e-sports players.
“With many positive responses, we are definitely looking to increase the frequency of TCL,” Arif said. “We will be launching two seasons annually, and will expand this further when the corporate community is fully built.”
He spoke about expanding the games list to include consoles as well, as there are currently only two PC games and two mobile games.
This article was first published by Vulcan Post.