Tension was high over at the Singapore E-Sports League booth where gamers came from all around Singapore vying to be best in the “STGCC E-Sports Championship Series 2012 Season”. The games that were being played included Capcom’s signature “Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition” and Arc System Work’s latest creation “Persona 4 Arena” with prizes sponsored by Madcatz and a prize pot of over 400 dollars.
We were fortunate enough to be able to sit down with the spokesperson for the Singapore E-Sports League and host of “Cross Counter Asia” Zhi Liang Chew to tell us more about the Singapore E-Sports League
PCO: Thank you for taking time off your busy schedule to answer some questions. First I would like to ask, what is the Singapore E-Sports League and how did it start ?
Zhi: Well, so as you know Singapore sent a delegation of athletes to the recent London Olympics and they have been quite successful; namely in ping-pong and brought back home some bronze medals but these players were not born and bred in Singapore and depending on how you look at it. It’s maybe a good thing or a bad thing, but SEL is to cultivate local players whom we feel are very strong and are able to compete on an international level, they do win regularly; not only bronze medals but they have taken championships before. DM.Xian one of our marquee players have actually beaten Daigo “The Beast” Umehara in a thrilling set which you can view on youtube. So we really think that there is a lot of local talent here but the focus has been largely on athletic sports but for E-Sports there definitely is a lot of raw talent that needs more exposure so that’s the purpose of the E-league and to give it a more formalized structure where we can sorta raise from the bottom and train these players to become champions and bring a medal back from abroad home to Singapore.
PCO: Have you thought of sponsoring local players whom you feel have potential ?
Zhi: There had been initiatives to sponsor players so one of the local teams is called DM aka Desperation Move which I am also a part of. They do sponsor players to go abroad and help with accommodations and the flight because as much as players have to perform in the game, getting there to and fro,dealing with jetlag ,different types of food that might not agree with their stomachs and getting enough sleep the day before the tournament. Those are the things that players themselves need to manage and thankfully with the sponsorships it helps them deal with those things so that they can fully focus on the tournaments. So yes there are sponsorships available and the way to get that is not only do you need to be good at what you do and play games but i am terrible at games but some other players have different skills like they can be a spokesperson or be very cute and help promote the brand so you really have to find your niche. You do not need to be winning all the time, we don’t think the emphasis is on that at all.
PCO: The final question would be, what games do you have in the Singapore E-Sports League ?
Zhi: Primarily our focus right now is on the Fighting games, so we have Street Fighter, Soul Calibur, Blazblue, Marvel VS Capcom and Persona 4 Arena so really the whole gamut of fighting games, but we are also expanding into other games as well such as FIFA for example which is popular in Singapore and we are also running Halo tournaments. It’s starting with the Fighting games because that’s where we came from but we do have plans to expand to greater E-Sports in general.
By Chen KangYi
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