The inaugural Johor Esports Festival (JEF22) will kick off this month with a prize pool of RM86,000.
The event is expected to attract 7,500 participants, and will include invited top teams competing in three titles – PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile, Fifa 22 and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB).
The first online qualifying stage starts on March 22, followed by the second on May 22 and the third on July 22. Each stage will feature 32 teams or athletes who will vie for a spot at the Grand Final on Sept 22 at Arena Larkin Indoor Stadium in Johor Baru.
The stage winner of Fifa 22 will earn RM3,000, while the stage winners of MLBB and RM1,500 for PUBG Mobile will receive RM8,000 each. The grand final will feature a prize pool of RM50,000 – RM10,000 for the champ of Fifa 22 and RM8,000 each for the winners of MLBB and PUBG Mobile.
The event, dubbed as the biggest esports championship in Johor, is organised by Kumpulan Prasana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ) through its subsidiary Sports Johor. KPRJ, incorporated in 1995 as a private limited company, is wholly owned by the state government of Johor.
Mohd Johari Tarmizi, general manager of Sports Johor, said JEF22 will highlight the state’s potential to become an esports hub in five years. “The main objective is to develop a competitive platform for all esports athletes in Johor,” he said in a statement.
KPRJ CEO Tuan Haji Lukman Abu Bakar said JEF22 will provide a consistent platform for esports athletes looking to hone their competitive skills. Within two years, he said, at least five players from each league would have the potential to represent Malaysia at the international level. He also urged the esports community in Johor to get involved in JEF22.
“It has the capacity to create job opportunities, with at least one new full-time position created every year through the tournament,” he said.
Sports Johor is hoping to reach 300,000 online viewers with the tournament.