Cambodia's e-sports team Impunity KH have just made history by winning the first bronze medal for the Kingdom at the 14th IESF World Esports Championship in Bali, Indonesia, a result that has boosted the confidence of the team and of E-Sports Federation Cambodia (EFC) officials as they look ahead to the competition at the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games hosted by Cambodia in 2023.
EFC secretary-general Lun Samdy, who led a delegation along with Impunity KH to the World Championships in Bali, said the medal was the result of team efforts and that the victory was in line with the EFC's expectations before the competition.
Samdy spoke to reporters upon the delegation’s return on December 12 following the December 1-11 competition.
"The EFC committee decided to send the Impunity KH team to join the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang tournament because we saw there were real chances to win medals even with the strong teams from hosting country Indonesia and from the Philippines competing. And the results were as we expected – a bronze medal win," he said.
For the 14th IESF World E-Sports Championship, there were six featured games: eFootball, Dota2, Tekken, CS: Go, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and PUBG Mobile, with more than 700 e-sports athletes from 107 countries taking part.
Cambodia competed only in “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang” event and won a bronze medal, a first for the Kingdom.
"We have had strong teams that participated before, but we had never won a medal. This is the first time in the ‘Mobile Legends: Bang Bang’ that our e-sports team has medalled at a world championship. Even though we only won the bronze medal, it proves that e-sports in Cambodia is growing and moving forward," he said.
At the competition, the Impunity KH team played four matches. In the first match, they beat Namibia 2-0 and then downed Malaysia 2-1 in the second match. In the semi-finals, they lost 2-1 to hosts Indonesia and then lost to the Philippines 2-0 in the semi-finals.
Impunity KH won the bronze medal with a cash prize of $20,000. The team from the Philippines took second place with a $30,000 prize and hosts Indonesia took the gold medal and $50,000 in prize money.
Samdy evaluated that Cambodian e-sports team was performing well at the technical level, which would be required for the EFC to win medals at the SEA Games 2023 in Cambodia.
"As far as our players’ abilities go, we now see that they have a lot of self-confidence and have gained a lot of experience. Not only by medalling, but they also almost won their match with Indonesia. Our technical skill level has improved. The federation will continue to improve our plans for the national team, so hopefully at the SEA Games we will do even better," he said.
Kim Long, leader of Impunity KH, said: "This is the first time we've been able to win a medal and it's the world bronze medal. We are very happy and we pledge that we will work and train hard to win the gold medal for Cambodia at the next big competition."