Over the last few years, the esports industry in Southeast Asia has experienced a massive boom in growth and popularity. To learn more about this growing scene, we spoke to three different esports teams to gain some insight on the experience of being a competitive player.
In this interview, we’ll be speaking to players from three different professional Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) teams: Malaysia’s Geek Fam and Lunatix Esports, and Alphette Gaming from Singapore.
Disclaimer: Answers may be edited for clarity of reading and comprehension.
What got you into video games?
Ozora Veki (Geek Fam): When my brother and I were kids, we did not get the chance to play many games until he did very well in his studies. As a reward for my brother excelling academically, our parents got us a PlayStation 2. I can still remember the feeling of holding the controller for the first time. It fit so well in our hands. The PlayStation 2 brought us countless nights of fun and it tightened the bond between my brother and I.
Ashley (Lunatix Esports): Passion and companionship.
Daphne (Alphette Gaming): Initially my intention was just to kill time and play during my free time, now it has become part of my routine to play daily.
For the team captains, what are some important values that you personally hold?
Xorn (Geek Fam): I find it very important to support the mental state of my teammates during a tournament. I will make sure that they are mentally prepared for the upcoming matches. It is also very important to ensure that they are 110% focused. The second important value of a team leader is to be be a listener. We Geeks are a family. We always share our inner thoughts with one another. Sometimes it is not necessary to provide an answer to the players’ problems, but to just listen to them.
Ashley (Lunatix Esports): The most important values for me as a leader are leadership and friendship.
Daphne (Alphette Gaming): Respect and responsibility. I feel that each and every player deserves the respect that they need and they should always be responsible for their actions.
What are the challenges of being a team captain?
Xorn (Geek Fam): There are no challenges to being a team captain other than having the passion to strive for excellence. There will be many obstacles that will drag your spirit down but there isn’t a single obstacle that you can’t overcome. Nothing is impossible.
Ashley (Lunatix Esports): The biggest challenge for me as a team captain is to develop the compatibility and discipline of each player.
Daphne (Alphette Gaming): All the girls come from different walks of life and hence, getting all of them to train together is the hardest. Some of them have commitments which they need to prioritize before they can commit to our training schedule.
How do you handle wins or losses?
Xorn (Geek Fam): When we win, we celebrate to assure one another that our efforts are recognised. One of the best feelings ever is the bittersweet emotions that come after a victory. But we also keep in mind not to be overconfident and overly proud. There are many games that we may have won but still made a lot of mistakes in. Losses are usually caused by bad plays and mistakes too. The team will always identify our problems and evaluate them together. Lastly it’s important to reignite the inner fire of the team after a loss.
Ashley (Lunatix Esports): Whether we win or lose, we will analyse our deficiencies in each match so that we can improve our gameplay and progress.
Daphne (Alphette Gaming): Whether we win or lose the game, we will still replay the match and point out where we’ve done well and where we can do better.
In your experience with MLBB, what in your opinion sets it apart from other MOBAs?
Ozora Veki (Geek Fam): I’ve tried playing games like Arena of Valor and Vainglory. There are not many significant differences between them; however, MLBB is much more promising in terms of tournaments. There are more events and competitions that provide more opportunities for esports-driven players like us. Aside from that, MLBB has been good at taking care of their community.
Ashley (Lunatix Esports): In my opinion, MLBB is famous in Southeast Asia because they always update the mechanics and events in the game. They’ve also created heroes based on Asian countries, and even changed the game’s layout, interface and ingame map according to regional celebrations such as Chinese New Year and Hari Raya Aidilfitri. I’m sure not every MOBA game has these.
Daphne (Alphette Gaming): MLBB was one of the first few MOBA games that I was introduced to years ago, and there are constant updates for new heroes and adjustment of items and heroes’ skills, which makes players want to continue with this game.
Would you consider switching to new games in the future? What do you personally want to see in the MLBB competitive scene?
Ozora Veki (Geek Fam): I’ve very happy with my current state right now with my team. If I find a new game with better opportunities, maybe I will consider switching to it. MLBB has been doing a very great job in growing its competitive scene. I hope to see more major tournaments happening to provide even more opportunities for new faces.
Ashley (Lunatix Esports): We are not planning to switch our MLBB team into other games. But in the future, when League of Legends: Wild Rift launches in Malaysia, we may create a new competitive team for that game instead. As for the MLBB competitive scene, I want to see more young talent joining competitions. In the future, they can represent the MLBB Malaysian community internationally and win global titles.
Daphne (Alphette Gaming): In general, not just for MLBB, we hope to see more females coming forward to the esports competitive scene. This is also why we created Alphette Gaming, as we wanted to promote female talents in gaming.
Besides MLBB, what other games do you play on a non-competitive level?
Ozora Veki (Geek Fam): I usually pick up competitive games. I planned to go competitive for Pokémon Sword and Shield, but I’ve stopped playing it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lately, I’ve been playing Legends of Runeterra for fun. I don’t really play many other games other than MLBB.
Ashley (Lunatix Esports): LifeAfter, Shadow Fight 3, Last Day on Earth: Survival.
Daphne (Alphette Gaming): Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG Mobile.
How has your taste in games changed over time?
Ozora Veki (Geek Fam): Ever since I started playing video games, I’ve mostly enjoyed playing multiplayer games regardless of whether they’re cooperative or competitive games. Although I love playing games like Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy, sadly I have no time to play them. It’s fair to say that my taste in games have not changed much in the past decade.
Ashley (Lunatix Esports): Juggling between bitter and sweet.
Daphne (Alphette Gaming): From the old school games like MapleStory SEA and Left 4 Dead, then moving to DOTA and League of Legends, and now to MLBB, PUBG and CODM. Overall I don’t think there are many changes over time.
What are some local games that you are excited for?
Ozora Veki (Geek Fam): I love Postknights. It’s strategic and fun to play. The game has a smooth learning curve and it is very easy to pick up. Postknights is a good game to burn time. I enjoyed it during a long-haul flight previously.
Ashley (Lunatix Esports): Meka Wars. I got to know this game from Level Up KL, when I watched the tournament. It is a really fun survival game.
Daphne (Alphette Gaming): Not at the moment as Singapore does not have many locally developed games.
What game releases are you looking forward to in 2020?
Ozora Veki (Geek Fam): The game I’m most looking forward to is League of Legends: Wild Rift. Through Wild Rift, I will be able to meet with my old friends and rivals. Hopefully, it will help to grow both the local and international esports scene.
Ashley (Lunatix Esports): I’m waiting for League of Legends: Wild Rift to be released in Malaysia.
Daphne (Alphette Gaming): League of Legends: Wild Rift.
We’d like to thank the members of Geek Fam, Lunatix Esports and Alphette Gaming for sharing their opinions and thoughts with us! Don’t forget to show them some support on their social media pages:
Alphette Gaming: Facebook