By Chris Teh
The Perak Open Pokemon Go PVP Tournament was held in conjunction with the state-level Youth Day on Sunday, June 30 at the multi-purpose hall of the Perak Youth and Sports Department.
Guests of honour were Perak Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu and Executive Councillor for Youth and Sports Development Howard Lee Chuan How.
A total of 46 participants competed in six matches. Victory was determined by two opponent defeats out of the three-round battle in a matchup done by the Silph Arena, an international PVP tournament system designed to help local communities participate in a global player ranking administered by local Silph Arena community leaders.
Player versus player (PVP) battle is part of Pokemon Go’s highly anticipated new game feature introduced in December 2018. This feature enables players, dubbed ‘trainers’, to face-off with each other in a three-round Pokemon battle.
The tournament saw the emergence of four winners also known by their in-game usernames and ranking. They were Champion Muhammad Asyraf (zrasyraf), 28, first runner-up Khor Zi Heng Byron (cl1149), 23, second runner-up Tan Chuan Yi (GreninjaSuriken), 26, and third runner up Melkinn Chee Ka Sheng (melking2508), 25.
The championship, a collaboration between Pusat Aspirasi Anak Perak (PASAK) and the local Pokemon Go community, is sponsored by XOX Mobile. It is part of an initiative to make Malaysia the first few Southeast Asian countries to recognise PVP as an official e-sports programme by the Malaysian government.
“This event was a success and we thank the state government and PASAK for the opportunity to show the potential of Pokemon Go PVP as a future e-sports programme,” said Ipoh Pokemon Go community leader Ooi Yan Sheng, 26. “Hopefully, we will be able to host Safari Zone or Go Fest event in Ipoh in the future.”
ONEXLEGION and XOX Group Alpha e-sports representative Hanson Cheong, 23, who was present in the event, found the PVP championship very interesting owing to its casual nature.
“Compared to other e-sports that I’ve attended, PVP is much friendlier because participants are willing to initiate a conversation with their opponents. The atmosphere of other e-sports would normally be very tense during tournaments and competitors normally don’t talk to each other.”
Dennis Loong, 43, Malaysian YouTuber known as PoGoTips, shared news and updates of Pokemon Go. He said that Perak Open requires publicity so Malaysians will know that the game’s popularity is not on the decline.
When met after finishing his round of PVP, Dennis explained, “I’m constantly looking for content worth sharing in my YouTube channel. This championship is proof that the game is still being actively played by Pokefans (Pokemon fans).”