2016 was an awesome year for Singaporean eSports. As a Team house opened, many of our local boys snagged a boat load of cash, and a specialized eSports hub opened for Singaporeans. Most importantly, Singaporeans turned up for the many amazing eSports events throughout the year! Take a look:
If you were an attendee at any event, seriously, thank you for attending the eSports events this year. Without your support, Singapore eSports would not be at all possible. Without further ado, here are my top five happenings that drove SG eSports forward this year.
In November 2016, Gam3.Asia launched their eSports Hub in conjunction with a host of different gaming brands and partners. With the goal of supporting the local eSports scene in mind, the Gam3.Asia hubprovides a LAN gaming hosting area complete with training and streaming facilities. Instead of charging an hourly rate, the hub and its facilities is open free to all members. Membership is fairly priced at $119 per annum, with product launches, monthly and birthday giveaways, member discounts and flash deals tacked on.
We’ve always needed a centralized location where all our eSports events can be hosted as most events are usually ride-along events with tech shows and gaming conventions. Here’s hoping for bigger stand-alone events across all eSports titles in 2017!
If there’s a Shadowloo persona everyone should know about in Singapore’s Fighting Games Circle(FGC), it’s Koh Yung Tek (aka Cameraman/sgfighter) and his team over at Beast of the East (Beast). A behind-the-scenes events and video streaming specialist, Beast’s most prominent event this year was SEAM 2016 @ Gamestart 2016, which hosted a Capcom-sponsored Street Fighter V tournament.
Beast’s is well known in the FGC thanks to his involvement with Xian’s Razer Academy and the yearly SEAM events since 2012, SEAM 2016 was a huge step forward for Beast, mainly because it had the most eyes on the event of any they had previously hosted and the quality with which it was broadcast. Peaking at over 15,000 concurrent online viewers on Twitch and serving SFV to the 20,000 people who visited the gaming convention, SEAM was an event the audiences never wanted to end.
This event was undoubtedly an excellent capstone to crown 2016’s event hosting for BEast.
In a bid to outdo his EVO 2013 championship win. Xian blazed a path as a world warrior alongside Razer teammates Infiltration, Gackt, RB and Fuudo toward the Capcom Pro Cup 2016. With a combined prize pool of 500k, Xian walked away with a 9th placing at the Pro Cup after participating at over 24 international Street Fighter V competitions.
If you followed Xian’s journey throughout the year, you’ll know that he is one of the most active pro players on twitter. He always finds the time to reply to his fans, and is actively involved in the local FGC scene, helping other players find their footing on the pro scene.
Whether it’s the freshest FGC meme or another anime waifu, @Xianmsg definitely has the whole package.
I’ve never followed FIFA, but when I heard that a Singaporean team had yet again performed well at a top-tier eSports competition, I could not help but give them my support. The trend of Singaporeans performing well at the top-tiers of competition is testament to our potential to produce player talents and the hard work that these players are willing to put in above all odds.
The team, consisting of Joseph “Zarate” Yeo (23), Wen Jun “hibidi” Chiang (26) and Fernando “Amraan” Amraan (22), took 3rd place and US$60,000 home, beating Team Europe 3-0 for the 3rd place match. They were unfortunate to meet eventual winners Korea early on in the quarterfinals, who knocked them down after tiebreaker penalties into playing for 3rd place.
Team Impunity’s perseverance and confidence in competing on an international stage demonstrates what Singapore needs more of in order for eSports to take off here. As viewers and fans, we can show our support and affirmation of the industry if we just start talking about our eSports players and achievement more often!
Daryl “Iceiceice” Koh has put his money where his mouth is. Together with an internationally-acclaimed team alongside Singaporean teammates Toh “xy-“ Wai Hong and Wong “NutZ” Jen Yih, he used part of his eSports winnings (which as of today has passed US$ 1 million) to open up a team house for his new SG-based Dota 2 team, Faceless.
Formed in September 2016, Faceless managed to qualify for the December Boston Major in just two short months. Although they eventually dropped out in 9th place at the Boston Major due to their relative inexperience, the team showed amazing potential in terms of ability and will to win. They dominated SEA Dota 2 shortly after they formed, qualifying for three international tournaments this way.
The team is currently managed by Tammy “Furryfish” Tang, an eSports veteran herself. From being the captain of Singapore’s first all-female gaming team to working at Twitch as a Marketing Event Manager, Team Faceless is in good hands. My speculation about how long they’ll stay together: Singapore’s rental contracts often have a minimum renting time window, and Faceless is rumored to have a one-year contract. I’m hoping that Faceless sticks together until Ti 7 and makes the team work!
Feature Image Credit: Gosugamers.com
Robin Ek – Editor
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
The Gaming Ground
More by Chen Yiji: