Leading figures from gaming, entertainment, sports, esports, tech, media and education as well as attendees from almost 30 countries/regions came together for the much-anticipated Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum (DELF) 2020, held virtually at the CyberArena on 11-12 December. The two-day action-packed event recorded an impressive 500,000+ views across the online platforms, tuning in to explore the “New Normal of Digital Entertainment: From Gamification to Esportification” and watch the electrifying esports show matches and online tournaments.

The forum was opened by Dr George Lam, Chairman of Cyberport, and Alfred Sit Wing-hang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSARG, who joined virtually. They foregrounded the event by highlighting the bright prospects of this booming industry and reiterated the government’s and Cyberport’s steadfast commitment to ecosystem growth. This includes enriching the local landscape for career, games, and technological development.

Thriving esports industry with diverse opportunities for grabs

Joining from around the world, more than 60 speakers offered an eclectic mix of insightful perspectives and painted a fantastic picture of the esports and digital entertainment industry. They pointed to the soaring number of players and spectators, the exponentially growing revenues, the flourishing content, innovative formats, disruptive technologies, and the accelerating gamification and esportification trends in traditional industries as factors undergirding a thriving industry with robust growth prospects.

Taking a granular view, prominent business leaders and investors also delved into winning strategies, monetisation models, business and investment opportunities. Gamers and educators presented the social benefits of gaming and the mindset needed to succeed in the business. Tech companies and game developers explored technologies such as 5G, VR, and cloud computing that are enabling greater experiences; while incubators and platform providers offered their perspectives on how ecosystems conducive to long-term growth can be built.

Holistic, inclusive esports ecosystem as cornerstone of sustainable industry growth

On Day 2, DELF hosted the inaugural APRU MetaGame Conference, organised by The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) on gaming, policy discussion and next generation learning.

Apart from the trends, developments, challenges, and opportunities in building esports ecosystems that are socially beneficial and economically productive, the speakers highlighted the positives of esports and the importance of promoting equity, inclusivity, diversity, and representation for sustainable industry growth. They also touched upon the success factors for Hong Kong to become a leading esports hub.

Cyberport and APRU also announced a number of collaboration initiatives at the event, including the APRU Esports Fellowship Program, which will see Cyberport, APRU, and the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico join hands to foster future esports leaders by organising esports competitions, providing internship opportunities, and conducting esports-related research to foster long-term industry growth. This would be part of the new project collaborations under Cyberport Academy.

Show matches and online tournaments to excite and inspire

While discussions were front and centre at DELF 2020, the series of show matches and online tournaments were staged for esports and gaming fans to witness the ascension of champions, enjoy high-quality digital entertainment, and see the many roles and opportunities that youth are taking to build esports success.

Delighted by DELF 2020’s success, Peter Yan, CEO of Cyberport, said: “Cyberport is committed to cultivating local young talent and promoting I&T industry development. Digital entertainment, including esports and gaming, as one of the key clusters and esports, has been growing rapidly across the world and the Pacific Rim, bringing exciting new opportunities to our youth. We extend our warmest welcome to APRU in joining the Cyberport Community to become an important partner and adding to our global partnership network.”

The DELF 2020 virtual platform will remain open until 11 January 2021 for replays of the riveting forum sessions along with start-up showcases and rewards fun. Please visit the DELF 2020 website or sign up HERE!

Engaging moment at DELF 2020!

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