Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has announced an official “Esports National Tournament”, during a chat with internet personality and activist Waqar Zaka. This announcement could lead to the first tournament in Pakistan that will have involvement from the government of Pakistan.
Waqar Zaka has previously worked on various social issues that the youth of Pakistan deals with on a daily basis. However, his recent contributions to esports have benefitted the local gaming community to a huge extent, including pushing the authorities to unban PUBG.
This interview-cum-announcement was somewhat unexpected as well since Pakistani authorities are still sleeping on the relatively thriving esports scene, which was also the cause of PUBG ban. However, the short video was a breath of fresh air for the local community as the Federal minister seemed quite informed about the current state of esports. He commented on creating further job opportunities for the youth who’s into gaming, by offering diploma courses in universities and colleges.
Also Read | THE STATE OF ESPORTS IN PAKISTAN
“We plan on working alongside the companies (who have job opportunities) to create a syllabus and introduce gaming certifications in universities,” Fawad Chaudhry said.
He further stated that there are plenty of brands and companies in Pakistan who are willing to invest in gaming, but there are not enough resources that they could hire. The casting talent applying for jobs abroad, and packed gaming zones, however, tell a different story. Majority of gaming talent in Pakistan is either creating opportunities out of scratch or shooting their shots in the international esports. Arslan Ash’s struggle to reach the pinnacle of success in the world of Tekken, is a major example of local talent fending for itself.
Whatever the case, the minister’s wish to expand learning opportunities could motivate more people to invest in gaming. Since, despite a market that is growing at 20% yearly, according to Fawad Chaudry, it still lacks a proper institution or governmental body that could provide a platform to the gaming youth. Currently, Pakistan’s first esports academy is the only institute offering courses related to esports.
The tournament will have private sponsors
Despite being an event backed by the Minister of Science and Technology himself, the “National” tournament will have private sponsors. According to him, private sponsors will prevent the bureaucracy from interfering into the event.
According to the video snippet, the tournament will kickstart in March. He hasn’t commented on the games this tournament will include, but for now, a government-backed gaming tournament is enough to keep the hopes of the local community afloat.