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How to Win Southeast Asia’s Gamers

Kitamen believes e-sports is no longer limited to hardcore gamers

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BY Ezra Ferraz - 03 May 2018


PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

For entrepreneur Mohd Hazman bin Hassan, e-sports is not anymore limited to the niche gaming communities of the past. This presented an opportunity because it meant that e-sports is no longer for hardcore gamers only.

Hazman is the CEO of Malaysia’s Kitamen, a “lifestyle brand for e-sports” that brings together video game enthusiasts through products like the ESports Dojo, physical gaming outlets spread across Malaysia.

Hazman says each is designed to be a meeting hub for the gaming and e-sports community.

“We try to nurture communities by constantly hosting a variety of events that bring people together as well as develop hidden talents all across the country. We believe a sense of competitiveness makes things a lot more wholesome and exciting,” says Hazman.

For both the daily use of its e-sports dojos as well as its larger events, Kitamen focuses on flagship titles, while also exploring newer platforms and games.

“We have been focusing on popular titles like FIFA18, Tekken 7, Mobile Legends, Dota 2, due to the big player base. However, we are also constantly testing out emerging platforms and genres like mobile gaming as well as games on the Nintendo Switch,” says Hazman.


Digital lifestyle and gaming expo

Kitamen has substantial plans for the rest of 2018. As part of their partnership with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Kitamen is going to launch a digital lifestyle and gaming expo toward the end of the year as part of their bid to be the leader in the country’s e-sports industry.

Hazman is also laying the groundwork for an Epicenter, which will be crowdfunded through Ata Plus, Malaysia’s first equity crowdfunding platform.

“It is a scaled-up version of our Dojos which will function as a central hub for people of the industry to meet up, organize events, and work together to develop e-sports and gaming,” he says.

With other entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia getting in on the action, Hazman is bullish, calling the region the fastest growing gaming market in the world. He says increased Internet penetration and mobile gaming accelerated the market’s growth.

“Needless to say, we expect the number of consumers to grow significantly as e-sports and gaming will surely become a mainstream affair. It is up to entrepreneurs to create innovative ways to provide value to this cultural explosion,” says Hazman.

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