Kohai brings first Malaysian eSports community matchmaking platform

    Last week, Kohai officially goes live as the first Malaysian platform that matches eSports enthusiasts to experienced players, with the ambition to propel the nation’s eSports industry to greater heights. By uniting our eSports community on the Kohai mobile apps, gaming enthusiasts of all levels will now have a common stage to connect with players, have a more enjoyable match experience, hone their skills, and ultimately elevate the standard of eSports players to a higher and more competitive level.

    Photo for illustrative purpose only. 21 November 2018. Photo by Florian Olivo/Unsplash
    Photo for illustrative purpose only. 21 November 2018. Photo by Florian Olivo/Unsplash

     

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    With the global games market recording tremendous growth over the past decade, eSports has been widely regarded as one of the key reasons for this success. eSports in Malaysia has also seen a rise in popularity, with increased involvement from government and industry spurring this advancement.  The arrival of Kohai introduces an exciting element to Malaysia’s eSports ecosystem, leveraging the united spirit of our gaming community to make eSports more inclusive, exciting, and empowering.

    The platform and apps were first released for public beta testing in May 2021 and has since recorded a user base of 43,000, demonstrating healthy interest and demand from the Malaysian eSports community. The platform also currently features two popular mobile eSports titles, Mobile Legends Bang Bang (MLBB) and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile, with more titles and platforms to come.

    “eSports have always represented the pinnacle of competition within the gaming space, and we are glad to witness Malaysians actively embrace and participate in this global phenomenon. This is made possible with great support from both public and private sectors, driving the nation’s eSports ecosystem in the right direction,” said Edward Chong, Founder of IWG eSports and Co-Founder of Kohai. “The introduction of Kohai serves to propel this ecosystem even further, leveraging on the strength of the players to continuously raise each other to the next level.”

    “We are thrilled to finally be able to bring Kohai to Malaysians and play an active part in elevating the nation’s eSports standards. Although Malaysia has been producing some great talents, eSports and gaming in general are still perceived as negative by many. We want to change that,” said Chan Yik Soon, Co-Founder and Business Development Director of Kohai. “As a company built on the belief that eSports should be inclusive, exciting, and empowering, Kohai is here to elevate the experiences and standards of eSports players and industry through our platform. We look forward to how we can disrupt eSports in Malaysia for the better.”

    Kohai Gamer app user interface. Photo by Kohai/Press release
    Kohai Gamer app user interface. Photo by Kohai/Press release

     

    The Concept

    Kohai sources inspiration from the Japanese social relation system of senpai-kohai, translating to senior-junior, capturing the spirit of mentorship which it seeks to cultivate in Malaysia’s eSports community. The Kohai platform puts this philosophy in practice in the form of Gamers and Partners, allowing Partners to earn while they play and for Gamers to interact with players of a higher skill level, redefining the co-op experience for eSports. Kohai categorises Gamers and Partners by the following definitions:

    Gamers – Players of any level looking to connect and game with seasoned players
    Partners – Players who are experts or at a professional level with high in-game rank/tier

     

    To catalyse the eSports industry, Kohai utilises pay-to-learn and play-to-earn models respectively for Gamers and Partners, where Gamers can be matched with a wide selection of Partners to game or train with for a fee; and Partners can earn a side income playing with or coaching Gamers, championing the concept of a community-powered platform and empowering players to elevate the general eSports gaming experience and each other’s standards to the next level.

    An Elevated Experience

    Over the beta testing period, Kohai was able to improve their platform from user feedback, and introduced several measures to deliver a better experience for its users. 

    A key feature is to allow Gamers to have the option of real-time or scheduled gaming sessions. In a real-time session, Gamers can select the rank/tier they desire to achieve and get paired with a Partner to begin gaming or training right away at a fixed rate of RM10.00 per hour. Whereas in a scheduled session, Gamers have the flexibility to pre-schedule and game or train at a future date and time with his/her Partner. The rates will depend on several factors such as desired ranking, character requests, match length and others (please refer to the pricing guide below for further details). To ensure fair user practice, Partners are allocated a maximum of 72 hours to complete a Gamer’s match or training request. Both options will give Gamers the opportunity to connect with their Partner prior to the training session, to allow a personalised experience that works best for both parties.

    Real-Time Gaming Session Scheduled Gaming Session
    Step 1 Gamer selects game and desired ranking Step 1 Gamer selects game
    Step 2 Gamer will be assigned a Partner through matchmaking Step 2 Gamer selects desired ranking, provides other details (roles, hero selection, time, etc.), and schedule details
    Step 3 Once matched, Gamer and Partner will be placed in a chatroom signalling the commencement of game. Gamer will make payment upon completion of game Step 3 Gamer makes payment
    Step 4 Gamer will be assigned a Partner through matchmaking, based on details provided
    Step 5 Once matched, Gamer and Partner will enter room at the scheduled time
    Real-Time Gaming Session (Fixed Rate) Scheduled Gaming Session (Max. Rates)
    RM10.00 per hour (inclusive of SST)

    Applies for MLBB and PUBG Mobile

    MLBB
    Ranking Price (inclusive of SST)*
    Grand Master to Epic RM52.60
    Epic to Legend RM68.00
    Legend to Mythic RM84.00
    PUBG Mobile
    Ranking Price (inclusive of SST)*
    Bronze to Silver RM18.00
    Silver to Gold RM34.00
    Gold to Platinum RM40.00
    *Note that pricing marked with red asterisks indicate maximum rates set by Kohai per ranking upgrades. Prices may reduce based on Gamer’s current rank progression.

     

    Partners will also be able to earn while they play or train on the Kohai platform, where 80% of total fees from every session will be paid to the Partner via direct bank transfer by Kohai.

    To ensure all users can enjoy this platform, Kohai’s system is programmed to allow Gamers to be randomly matched with Partners via its own matchmaking algorithm. This was implemented to create a fairer and more enjoyable Kohai experience, allowing Gamers’ exposure to the diverse play styles and skills of Partners and establishing fair and equal opportunities for all Partners on the platform.

    User-Friendly Apps

    With community safety and experience in mind, Kohai developed separate mobile applications for Gamers and Partners respectively to make it even easier for users to have a better gaming experience, hone their skills, or guide others. The Kohai Gamer app (available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store) is for Gamers, where players can request for a Partner to engage in either casual gaming or upskilling in just three to five simple steps. The Kohai Partner app (available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store) is dedicated for Partners, where players can register, get certified, and start earning by gaming or training with Gamers.

    Current Activities and Future Plans

    In the spirit of elevating the standards of Malaysian eSports players, Kohai is also announcing its partnership with professional eSports team ‒ Geek Fam. Starting today, this exciting collaboration will see Geek Fam players participating as Partners, giving all Gamers the opportunity to play with, learn or train with Geek Fam players on MLBB and PUBG Mobile through random matchmaking. 

    Kohai has also organised its very own eSports tournament, the Kohai Championships, for MLBB. This tournament, which started on 4 September 2021 and will continue until 26 September 2021, features 64 teams competing for a total prize pool of RM11,000.00. Although registration has closed, more information can be found on Kohai’s social media channels.

    Although still at its initial phase, Kohai has already set its sights for the future. To start, Kohai has plans to expand the platform beyond mobile games to PC and console, as well as increasing available game titles, with guidance from user suggestions. The company also aspires to transform the platform by introducing more features to make its offering more holistic and inclusive, and is eyeing a potential expansion beyond Malaysian shores into the growing regional eSports market.

    Source: Kohai (Press release)