Writing this after watching Royal Never Give Up and Invictus Gaming battle it out in a 60,000 seater stadium in Nanjing, China – it’s clear the state of Esports in Singapore and most of South-East Asia is incomparable to that of juggernauts like China, Korea and closer to home, Vietnam.
With the esports scene in Singapore on the downswing, recent events like Hyperplay bring hope for the future. Held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Hyperplay was launched collaboratively by Riot Games and MTV.
Beyond events, the SHINE x *SCAPE Talent Development Programme: Esports is the first of its kind. We selected young talent in our local scene for mentorship in 3 fields: Player, Caster and Player Manager/Coach. Focused on developing aspiring esport professionals, it is vital to the future of Singapore Esports.
Singapore has several roadblocks in the way of aspiring esport professionals. Historically National Service has hamstrung budding careers. Our culture as a nation is another impediment to gaming-related careers as well. Coupled with the non-linear career path of esports, this can make pursuing a career in esports a seemingly unattainable dream.
However with the SHINE x *SCAPE Talent Development Programme: Esports, youths are not just mentored in specific fields of interests and talent, but also shown a way to pursue Esports as a career. Established esports professionals Razer Xian, Wong ‘Chawy’ Xing-Lei, and Joedat ‘Voyboy’ Esfahani gave talks on their journeys. In our local context, Xian and Chawy especially preached the importance of hard work and perseverance. Chawy for example, juggled National Service commitments with his professional career on team Singapore Sentinels.
For me, working with such passionate youths over the 10 weeks was heartening and made me hopeful for esports in Singapore. Over the duration of the programme, mentees would sacrifice their weekends to turn up for training and workshops in hopes of learning more. They wanted to grow as players and would spend the hours diligently working on their gameplay. Seeing such passion and commitment present in these 10 youths was inspiring.
Hopefully in the future, more aspiring players, casters and player mentees will step up and be a part of the burgeoning local esports scene under programs like the SHINE x *SCAPE Talent Development Programme: Esports that guide aspiring youths on their paths to success.