As video games gain momentum worldwide, the Bhutan Mobile Gaming Association, or BMGA, has taken one step forward to build an eSports base in Bhutan. The association has been officially recognised by the Bhutan Olympics Committee. So far, BMGA has represented the country on the international scene in games such as PUBG, Mobile Legends and E- football. It now plans to expand to PC games in the future.
The BMGA was established last year to officially play games in a competitive field.
The BMGA has Pubg Mobile Bhutan Community, Mobile Gaming Community and Bhutan Football Esports.
So far, they have held several national eSport tournaments in Bhutan. For instance, the BMGA conducts about four major PUBG tournaments every year. PUBG is a battle royale shooter game which is popular, especially among the Bhutanese youth.
BMGA is also affiliated with the International Esports Federation and recently attended the IESF World Esports Championship 2023. They are also a member of the Southeast Asian Esports Federation.
BMGA considers the recognition by the BOC as an opportunity to further develop the eSports community in Bhutan.
“We are still in the process of expanding our international relationships. And we also want to be able to offer job opportunities for our players, and we want to provide job training camps for our players so that they can learn how to earn through gaming and also pursue a career in gaming. And we also want to seek scholarships abroad,” said Sherab Lhaden from the Bhutan Mobile Gaming Association.
“Most people are doubtful about esports players because they think that they are wasting time and money. In the future, there is an opportunity for the BOC to change their mind about eSports. Moreover, eSports players have the opportunity to be considered athletes like football players and other physical-related players,” said Kuenlay Gyeltshen, a member of the Bhutan Mobile Gaming Association.
The BOC says it decided to recognise BMGA as a club because the Olympic Council of Asia and the International Olympic Committee have both included eSports in their systems.
“So at the moment, BMGA is only a club. So as per our protocol, we will provide administrative support, which we’ve been doing for two months. For example, helping BMGA with different Bhutanese stakeholders But one of our objectives is to expand the games played. For the moment, it is mostly focused on PUBG or Mobile Legends, so in the future, we want to expand to new games and PC players or consoles,” said Thibaud Zrein from the Bhutan Olympic Committee.
The BOC also has plans to draft a development pathway for eSports in the country.
The Bhutan Mobile Gaming Association was founded with the help of a Filipino called Gaziel May Togonon, along with a few mobile game enthusiasts in Bhutan.
At the moment, BMGA’s biggest struggle still remains the slow internet network in Bhutan.