Hello everyone, I am Ray Ng. I work at Hong Kong Cyberport as the Esports Manager and my responsibility is to facilitate the regional esports industry development and to build up the esports ecosystem. I was lucky enough to join this exciting industry 6 years ago and to have worked for leading gaming companies like Blizzard Entertainment and Tencent.
- What was your reason for joining the HKU MBA?
There are multiple reasons for why I am joining the HKU MBA. First of all, the University of Hong Kong has a solid reputation as one of the leading universities in the world. The experiential learning approach also provides practical knowledge which includes many business case studies. I am also a strong believer in networking and I believe that HKU can provide the largest alumni network with leaders across different industries.
2. Esports is a booming industry with profound potential and huge profits… Do you think it will create new opportunities for the generations to come?
The esports industry has seen tremendous growth over the past decade both in terms of global audiences and revenue. The increasing viewership is what contributes to the revenue growth. Brands are investing in esports marketing as they see the potential of reaching a large and engaged audience. Luxury brands like LV are teaming up with League of Legends for a series of collaborations including the skins of two in-game characters, and are creating a new collection of video game clothing.
3. How do you see this industry developing?
I believe esports will rival the biggest traditional sports leagues when it comes to advertising, ticket sales, licensing, sponsorship, media rights and merchandising. The greatest expansion is going to come from the generational aging out and the a new generation of people who grow up in a world of digital entertainment. There are also many trends to watch out for such as mobile esports, cloud gaming, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), sports competitions. The most important trend will be increased diversity and inclusion.
4. Has Covid affected the performance of esports?
When we hear about an esports event the first thing that comes to mind is a roaring stadium full of fans wearing colours of their beloved team and cheering. That was the thought before the pandemic struck the world. Several large-scale esports events were either cancelled, postponed or held without audiences due to lockdown. However, with the large number of people staying indoors, sports fans worldwide have taken to video gaming so the lockdown has undoubtedly boosted esports user engagement. The increasing demand for video games and the rising awareness of esports is contributing to the growth of the market. It has transformed the way that young people consume entertainment.
Simply put, people are spending more time viewing esports during isolation which leads to higher spending. One success story is our Cyberport incubatee Talon Esports which was able to secure $2M seed funding for expansion into a number of areas last year despite the challenge of the pandemic.
5. How does an MBA equip you for your role?
I graduated with a background in psychology so I don’t have a solid business foundation. The MBA programme will strengthen my business knowledge and the subject that has impressed me most so far is business ethics. The connection between social responsibility and profitability has totally changed my perception of a company’s purpose. It is important to deliver a positive impact for our community and the public when working for an organisation.
6. What is your advice to people who would like to join the esports industry?
The easiest way to join the industry is to reach out to teams, organisations, tournament providers, and other companies that sponsor or are involved in esports somehow. At the end of the day, don’t let your dreams be dreams!
7. What is your advice to MBA aspirants who would like to use their MBA as a door for career change or acceleration?
I think the MBA is a great way to get an introduction to business. You get a chance to explore a variety of different functional areas. The networking elements of an MBA programme and the subsequent access to its alumni and business community is influential to job opportunities and promotion.