20 August 2023, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - The Esports segment of the Ulaanbaatar East Asia Youth Games 2023 (UBEAYG 2023) drew to a thrilling close on 19 August 2023, marking a triumphant ending. The competition, featuring the popular game titles King of Fighters XV (KoFXV) and VR Tennis, showcased the competence of young athletes from Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China, Japan, and the host country, Mongolia, who seized victory in these Esports categories.
This marked Mongolia's maiden hosting of the UBEAYG 2023 Esports event, and their performance was nothing short of captivating for the live audiences. Notably, Mongolian athletes achieved remarkable success in both game titles, outshining countries that have long held a prominent position within the industry.
In the VR Tennis competition, 14-year-old Mandakh Davaadash from Mongolia, a seasoned junior athlete with nine years of professional tennis experience, clinched the bronze medal, despite having trained in VR Tennis for only three months. Chi-Hao Cheng, an 18-year-old athlete hailing from Chinese Taipei and having 14 years of expertise in professional junior tennis, secured the silver medal, even with just four months of VR tennis training. The gold medal was claimed by 14-year-old Kai-Cheng Tsai, who boasts 12 years of professional junior tennis experience, supplemented by 4 months of VR Tennis practice. Their debut as VR Tennis athletes was met with immense joy as they embraced the experience and exposure, contributing medals to their respective countries and region.
In the King of Fighters XV event, athletes from Hong Kong China, Japan, and Mongolia displayed their utmost dedication to seize the gold medal. The competition witnessed intense matches as athletes battled their way through the rounds, ultimately reaching the semi-finals and the grand finals. Given King of Fighters XV's Japanese origin, the Japanese athletes' medal achievements were expected. However, a remarkable achievement occurred with a Mongolian athlete securing the silver medal, thereby adding to their host country's medal tally at the UBEAYG 2023.
The final medallists included 17-year-old Riku Saito from Japan, who triumphed with the gold medal after five months of experience in KoFXV. Mandakhnaran Batmolom from Mongolia, aged 18 and with three months of KoFXV experience, secured the silver medal, while 18-year-old Haruki Arai from Japan, who has accumulated five months of experience in KoFXV, claimed the bronze medal.
Dignitaries present at the awards ceremony to bestow medals upon the victorious athletes included Mr. Bat-Enkh Tsevegmid, Operating Director of the Organizing Committee of Ulaanbaatar EAYG; Ms. Hsiao-Tzu Hsu, East Asia Organizing Committee Council Member from the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee; and Mr. Batmunkh.D, President of the Mongolian Esports Development Federation.