Sports News Update: SriLankan Airlines, a well-known name in a variety of sports both nationally and internationally, entered the arena of Electronic Sports or Esports recently at the Mercantile Esports Championship organized by Gamer.LK, with its team performing creditably in the face of some stiff competition from other organizations.
Esports is a new genre of sports that has taken afoot in the modern sports arena in recent years, being a form of competitive sport carried out through the play of video games on various platforms including personal computers, gaming consoles, and mobile phones. Spearheaded by the efforts of the Sri Lanka Esports Association, the government of Sri Lanka recently gazetted official recognition of Esports as an actual sport in Sri Lanka. Gamer.LK has been the foremost organization for Esports in the country since its inception in 2007 and has continued to promote Esports through various events and activities.
More than 800 competitors from over 115 companies participated in this year’s Mercantile Esports Championship. The tournament has been held annually for several years, with this year’s event on the 9th and 10th of November at Stein Studios in Ratmalana. The event was free for the public and there was a plethora of promotions, activities and games the crowd could engage in.
SriLankan Airlines participated in the game DOTA 2 with the team name Aviators Gaming, competing versus 19 other companies, and advancing up to the quarter-finals where it was defeated by eventual champions Pattern Digital. SriLankan was represented by Nuwan Wijeyesekera (Inflight Service Delivery), Michael Liyanage (Inflight Service Delivery), Chirath De Mel (Engineering), Aravinda Palliyaguruge (Information Technology) and Pathum Wijayasooriya (Corporate Quality).
E-sports have become a massively competitive sport in the modern day where prize pools exceed even certain mainstream sports. A good example of this is the 30-million-dollar prize pool amassed for the International Championship of the DOTA 2 tournament. This is a rapid rise in popularity from just a decade ago when competitions were mainly held between amateurs. Organized competitions emerged around the year 2010 which showcased professional players battling for supremacy against each other in teams or individually.