It’s been a difficult couple of years for Southeast Asia, but the region is starting to get back on its feet and look towards an exciting future. And what better way to bring the region’s 650 million people together than through the uplifting power of sport?
Tomorrow, the 31st Southeast Asia (SEA) Games opens in Hanoi, Vietnam, having been rescheduled from last year. From aquatics to wushu, with 40 sports there’s something for everyone — even people who only tune in to sports every once in a while.
One of the things that makes the 31st SEA Games unique is the inclusion of Esports — a reflection of this youthful region’s diverse gamer and developer talent. Esports at the Games will consist of eight games and ten events. It’s only the second time Esports has been medal event in a multi-sport competition sanctioned by the IOC.
While travel within Southeast Asia is picking up, and a few lucky people will be able to catch the action in person, most people outside of Vietnam will be cheering on their team from a distance. We want to help by providing digital tools to make sure everyone can enjoy the Games. Here are five ways we’ll be doing that over the next two weeks.
1. Stay up to speed and an AR surprise with Google Search
When you search for the SEA Games on Google, you’ll be able to find the latest information on your favorite events, sports and players, and even see where your country ranks in the medal tally. And if you’re searching on your phone, look out for a sighting of the rare Saola — at least a 3D AR version of one anyway.
For fans of sporting trends, check out our dedicated SEA Games Trends page to see fun Search stats on your favorite moments. Pages are available for six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), and there will also be a deeper focus on seven sports: badminton, basketball, chess, football, taekwondo, swimming and esports.
2. Watch all the action live on YouTube
Get all the excitement of the games by catching live events, clips and highlights from official SEA Games broadcasters on their YouTube channels. YouTube can make it even easier for you to cheer on your favorite teams from home with a YouTube SEA Games Playlist that includes live feeds from local broadcasters, including VTV, Mediacorp, Astro, TV5.
3. Ask Google Assistant for updates
Stay up to speed on Games news with help from Google Assistant. Just ask questions you’re curious about (“Hey Google, how many medals does Malaysia have in the SEA Games?”), and whether you’re using your phone, speaker, TV or other enabled device, Google Assistant will have all the important details
4. Explore Vietnam virtually with Google Arts & Culture
Even if you can’t experience the Games in real life, you can take a virtual tour of the host country with 37 new exhibits in Google Arts and Culture’s Wonders of Vietnam feature. From astonishing craft works to the world’s largest cave and cities packed with history and culture — you can see it all without leaving your chair
5. Take the hassle out of travel
If you are lucky enough to be traveling to Vietnam for the Games, you can make the most of your trip by keeping an eye on prices (just set up a “track prices” function on Google Flights) and find flights with a lower environmental impact using the Emissions filter.
Once you’re on the ground, let Google Lens be your guide. Just hold your phone up to a sign or other printed text, and Google Lens will auto-detect what language the words are written in and then translate them. You can also avoid crowds using Google Maps’ features showing how busy an area or business is, and find out businesses’ opening hours, offerings and other details through Business Profiles on Search and Maps.
Good luck to all the athletes taking part, and let the games begin!