The recently concluded SHINE x *SCAPE Talent Development Programme: Esports was the first programme of its kind in Singapore. It is also the first programme of its kind that I had the opportunity to be a part of. The esports industry has been growing exponentially worldwide in the last few years. Support for youths aiming to be professional gamers has increased in the form of competitions like Campus Leagues, Esports Courses at Universities and better scouting and support outlets for amateurs.

2018 was the inaugural year that the SHINE x *SCAPE Talent Development Programme: Esports track was included as part of the SHINE Festival. Like other established tracks such as Music and Dance, Esports was an initiative led by the National Youth Council. Governmental support makes this programme a milestone for esports in Singapore and a significant stepping stone towards increasing future recognition for esports locally.

Over the course of 3 months I worked closely with my 2 commentator mentees, coaching them on the myriad technical aspects of shoutcasting. Having worked in the Esports industry for more than 3 years at various foreign and local organisations on-camera and off, I had a lot of experiences to share. We covered specific casting techniques, building story and hype, how to inflect and change tones and take care of the voice, as well as introducing them to the esports industry and how it works behind-the-scenes.

Both my 2 mentees Raimie and Gerard started the programme as fledgling shoutcasters. Raimie had some experience casting local third-party tournaments while Gerard had on-air experience at the radio station he was interning. Throughout these 3 months, they casted 2 League of Legends Tournaments, player mentees’ scrims, and every single weekend during our practice sessions. By our public showcase tournament on the last weekend of the programme, they both had improved so much. I could not be prouder of them.

Three months is not a long time to be in training for a professional career, but both Raimie and Gerard did a good job trying to shelve their nerves casting the live event and showcasing their talents to let the audience have a good time. I have confidence that they’ve completed the programme with the necessary skills and mindset needed to succeed in the esports industry.

Through coaching, attending the host of esports workshops, tournaments and events, and interacting with the youth every step of the way, I felt their passion and desire to make it in the gaming industry. As working professionals, we sometimes get worn-out, but working with these youths are intent on chasing their dreams had the effect of reigniting my own passions and inspiring me to do the best I can on my own journey. The SHINE x *SCAPE Talent Development Programme: Esports might have ended, but for most of the mentees, I believe that it has just begun.