Tuesday, August 30, 2011


i started out writing this post because my mind was boiling with all the information, post-scythe interviews.
i'm not sure what exactly i wanted to achieve out of writing, other than it helps me put my thoughts in order, and is somewhat therapeutic to me.
so, since i expended the effort to write a whole wall of text, i figured i might as well post it, even if there is no aim to it other than self fulfilment.


USD$150,000. Granted, the exchange rate now isn't that great, but it still amounts to roughly SGD$180,000.
That's the amount of money that a Singapore DOTA 2 team won at the recent Gamescom in Cologne, Germany.
Anyone would be overjoyed with that amount, but not Scythe.SG.
Walking into the interviews today, they didn't look like gamers who just bagged the 3rd prize in high profile, international tournament. They look like a solemn, even downcast, group of 5 who were jet lagged.
When pressed for their feelings on taking 3rd place, they morosely replied that they were upset at not being able to advance any further in the competition.
Said Daryl Koh,"Na'vi deserved to win, it was obvious that they outclassed the rest of the teams at the competition, but we drafted wrong against EHOME, and after the first loss against them, we simply lost the momentum." [the semi-finals were conducted in best of 3, with the winner proceeding to the finals]
"Na'vi bootcamped for a month or so before the competition, they were the most familiar with all the heroes and hero combinations. We knew we couldn't beat them, but we shouldn't have lost the games against EHOME,"continued Lim Hanyong, shaking his head.
DOTA 2 is a game which is played in teams of 5. Each team has to destroy the opponent strong hold first to win the game. In all, there are about 30 heroes - many DotA Allstars heroes have not been added in as of yet - and each match starts off with the captains banning and picking heroes. Often, the hero combination determines the outcome of the game.
As Toh Wai Hong elaborates,"the skill level of the players, and the teamwork are all about the same, so many times, the hero combination is the remaining factor which play a great part in determing success or failure."
Daryl chips in,"for example, if one team picks 5 heroes which can take lots of damage, and the opponent picks 5 heroes which have very low hit points, the team with the 5 tougher heroes will win."
Its a highly strategic game, and the hero picking and banning process takes up to 10minutes to complete. Teams often have heated discussions while they try to guess what the opponent has in store.
So obviously, each competition, and indeed, each game, sorely tests a team's ability to withstand pressure and disagreements.

Asked if they faced any roadblocks on their journey to 3rd place, most of the team cited taking official leave from school and national service as big problems.
As Daryl laments,"I had a hard time taking leave from my national service - I work in shifts, so I had to find replacements for all the shifts that I couldn't be there for. Also, I have more or less used up all my leave for this competition, so even though I most definitely will win the WCG nationals (for StarCraft II), I won't be able to represent Singapore in the WCG Grand Finals in Korea anyway."

And this is a problem echoed by competitive gamers who are stigmatised in a society where the media mostly portrays gamers as addicted and needing help, and gaming as a vice.

As Dawn Yang from PMS Asterisk (an all female competitive team) says,"Gamers are an easy target, because every mother knows one, and she doesn't understand them."

I liken gaming to being on the phone. Almost everyone nowadays can immediately understand that "I'm in a call right now" means that they're communicating with another person, who isn't exactly tangible, and that they should be accorded with privacy.
"I'm in a game right now" just doesn't have the same ring (no pun intended) to it, and few non-gamers understand that being in a game, doesn't mean you can just pause it as and when you like when you're in a 25-man raid in World of Warcraft, or a 5v5 Counterstrike 1.6 training. They see it as entertainment, sort of like watching a dvd on television, where missing a few minutes of the show won't really disrupt the story line for you.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Please Step UP.

there's been great furor and uproar in the Singapore community, and i have to say that it can be attributed to Phirkan and PMS Asterisk.
and of course, the golden team Scythe.sg.
i think the amount of feedback has been stunning, and the support shows that there is a community out there who feels so strongly about this.
which takes me to my next concern.
someone, some organisation, something. needs to step up, and lead all this energy.
without a guiding hand, the energy will either fizzle out, or explode into chaos.
there might be lots of different viewpoints, but in the end, we just want to succeed in what we love doing, and we want everyone to understand why we do it.
this is where i end off with, "this is just my 2cents worth", but i feel that what i've said is worth much more than that.

i know everything is in lower case, i'm typing in blogger, and it doesnt have auto caps. and i want to type it all out quickly, in case i forget anything.

another quick note, people who keep telling us/me to "stop trying to ask the government to do something and do it yourself" simply don't get it, cos we ARE doing it ourselves, whilst waiting for the right opportunities to petition for support publicly.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

eSports in Singapore


Read that link for the background story.

We Singaporean gamers are crying for some support, any support.
Gamers nowadays are not the useless, sloppy, addicted bums that we've been depicted as.
Many of us hold degrees, are active in physical sports and we're driven, focussed, and are still carrying hopes that we'll be recognised one day.

It makes me so sad that our top performing teams have to empty out their own pockets just to pay for accomodation and air tickets to competitions that they have qualified for. Many of them are currently students and cannot afford all these costs, some have been under managers who ran off with the funds, and still more are suffering because sponsors do not make good on their committments.

Even if you don't want to pay for our tickets, letting us take leave from school, exams, national service would all help so much. so. very. much.
Our top players couldn't even attend The International dota2 competition because they were not excused from school. Those who attended and are serving national service, are also unable to take any more leave for future competitions this year.
What's the point of having fibre optics and the best PCs that money can currently buy, all the education which teaches you how to use the latest technology, when all our hardwork goes to waste when we aren't able to attend the competitions we have qualified for.
We are born and raised here. We carry the Singapore flag, but the country doesn't support us.

We gamers are eking out a future for ourselves. It has been such a long and difficult path, changing misconceptions, pushing for support, and all the while focussing on improving our game.
And we're not giving up, because we're making a difference on the world stage.

We want to have a future here in Singapore.
Government, will you hear us?

Friday, August 19, 2011

the monumental week in the history of eSports

This week, with today as the midpoint, is probably one of the most eventful, ever, in eSports.
with Gamescom going on in Germany, and e-stars in Seoul, we viewers are spoilt for choice.

IEM has one of the best streams going on - especially if you have a HD pass like I do (thanks to Julian Ho)
for more information on how to watch the IEM LoL stream, check out Counter Logi Gaming's post :

DOTA2's stream isn't very consistent, and the match times change frequently too, but we're all following it because of the sheer awesomeness of the prize pool (1.6Million USD) and cos its release has been so mega hyped.

estars Seoul is probably the least high profile of them all, but it features international teams competing in cs 1.6.

Add these extra event streams on to the usual GOM Tv (Code S is still ongoing!), own3d.tv, justin.tv, livestream casts/streams/VODs of your favourite personalities and gamers, and you've got yourself a full program from the time you wake to the time you sleep.


thought of the day : teaching british colleague how to swear in hokkien is very fun.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


ok, so i know i've been really silent for quite a while.
and i guess i'm gonna give the same old excuse that i was busy and uninspired.

quite a few interesting things have happened in this past month or so that i've been mia -
one of them being that i've gotten myself a nice computer.
its the first time in years that i have a desktop, my alienware has been serving me faithfully since 2008, and before that i was on my toshiba through university.

the specs are *almost* to die for - i just wished i had an ssd and another 560 TI gfx card.

here's a peep. =x

with this new com, comes loads of possibilities... like streaming games. especially when i'm on fibre optics 200mbps plan!
and this is actually an interesting concept to me - livestreaming.
i should have seen that this was the way to go, a natural progression in the social media lifecycle i guess.
and its quite motivating to play with people watching - because you know that people are watching, you can't slip up, you have to perform.
i might actually think about casting, in some way.
hmm... october... mineski... lol. (all preliminary plans, but *hint hint*)

DOTA2 is going to make its debut, and i can't say i agree with all the marketing that valve has done so far. but after talking to a certain person, i've come to see why they do what they do.
but it doesnt mean i'm not angry about certain things, and not disappointed about other things.
in the end, its their money to spend however they want, to whomever they feel is deserving.

and we've been running a week long photoshoot release of our shoot pictures, i think i've been anticipating each release more than our readers have been. i've been holding back the urge to just splash everything out and let everyone see it.
but its finally come to an end, with me as the last individual pic.
(note: last INDIVIDUAL pic... which means.... we have something interesting coming up. interesting to me/us, at least!)
you can take a look at it here .