Saturday, 27 August 2016

Malaysian Team Fnatic win 4th Place and RM5.6million in International Dota 2 (E-Sports) Tournament earning more than Olympic Medal Winners.

Team Fnatic win RM5.6mil in Dota tournament\

Team Fnatic entering The International Dota 2 arena.

PETALING JAYA: With traditional sports like badminton, diving, cycling and athletics hoarding the limelight at the recently concluded Olympics, you might have missed out on news about an eSports team picking up a million dollar prize.

Team Fnatic recently finished an impressive fourth place at The International Dota 2 tournament held in Seattle, the United States, snapping up a cool US$1.4 million (RM5.6 mil) in prize money.

The team of five comprises Malaysians Chai Yee Fung (Mushi), Yeik Nai Zheng (MidOne), Adam Erwann Shah (343), Chong Xin Khoo (Ohaiyo) and Filipino player Djardel Jicko Mampusti (DJ).

eSports may not have the same following as traditional sports but it is fast becoming a phenomenon among the younger and millennial generation.

"This industry is very niche. The people who know it really appreciate it," said Team Fnatic manager Eric Khor, referring to the millennium generation.

Khor, 28, said that the generation differences are very apparent in the eSports industry.

"Young adults who play games generally appreciate it but older folks like my parents don't know what eSports is nor would they want to know what it is," he said.

Dota 2 is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle game in which two teams of five players control a "hero". The first team to destroy the opposing team's structure known as the "Ancient" wins the game.

A dota enthusiast since he started playing the game at 18 years old, Khor acknowledged the hard work of those who try to make eSports a big thing.

"After our fourth place finish, my friends who did not know about dota started asking me about our team and they were curious about what we do," he said.

Deloitte Global has predicted that the eSports industry "will generate global revenues of US$500 mil (RM2 bil) in 2016, up 25 percent from about US$400 mil (RM1.6 bil) in 2015, and will likely have an audience of regular and occasional viewers of close to 150 million people."

However, Khor admits that for eSports to be recognised in the same league as traditional sports, it will require a much longer time to gain momentum.

"It will take a lot of work to get there, investors are few, and frankly speaking I don't think it will get there until it is our time to take over their (his parents) roles," he said, adding that he does not see it becoming big in Malaysia in the next few years.

Khor also lamented that pro-gamers were not taken seriously as athletes.

"Let's face it, we are not physical people, we don't do any 'sports', there's nothing physical but even so we should be considered as athletes," he said, adding that dota requires pro-gamers to have lighting quick reaction.

Much hard work is spent on training; as long as 10 hours a day.

"There is no way that you can have such a quick reaction from just playing it every time, it takes a lot of time and skills to improve to the highest level, and there are a lot of things that is impossible for normal folks to do," he said.

Khor further cited the mentality training by pro-gamers to figure out new tactics to beat competitors as the eSports industry is a fast-paced environment.

"Things change so much over the course of weeks, it is really taxing on one's mental health because when things change, everything that you have planned previously will be thrown out the window and you will have to start from scratch," he said.

Khor shared that Team Fnatic typically plays five games a day which last five hours and the remaining hours are spent on discussing and analysing top opponents replays of Og, Wings, Na'Vi and Team Liquid while they would also sometimes play public games to try out new heroes, item builds and skills.

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