We sat down with three mentees who went through 3 different esports tracks – Player, Coach/Player Manager, Caster – to find out about their personal experience completing the 3-month long SHINE x *SCAPE Talent Development Programme.

Ahmad ‘Kriyce’ Nur Adli, Player Mentee

What are the areas of gameplay you feel you’ve most improved on as a player?

Ahmad: I feel that I have improved a lot in terms of communication. I changed myself to be more committed to calls made by my team no matter who makes the call, trusting my teammates more. I realized that if one of us fails to commit, we will be at the losing end both in game and mentally.

If we fail to make a play, we will fall behind. Secondly, if we fail to carry out our teammates’ calls, they will be slightly triggered [irked] and it’ll affect our performance as a team.

I also believe that my vision score has improved. As a support, providing vision and denying the enemy’s vision is a crucial factor to win the game. I am more careful in where and when I place wards, and try to predict where the enemy wards are at.

My laning phase has also improved a lot. Coach OMO has been guiding me since the beginning of the mentorship. I learned to be more aware of the bot lane matchup; knowing our weaknesses and strengths as well as the enemy’s.

How would you describe your relationship with the rest of the player mentees as well as the coach mentee?

At the start of the mentorship, I was a quiet and awkward person. I was only close to one person, Ashton. Knowing that most of the other players are higher ranking than me in solo queue, I kept quiet.

However as the weeks went by and we were having more scrims together, I started voicing out more. I’m glad to say that I am close to all of the mentees and coaches now. It was during week four onwards that we mentees started talking to each other more about the scrims we had, our mistakes, correcting each other and more.

That was also during the time where we started attending workshops together. At the end of the mentorship, I am glad to say that I am much closer with most of the mentees and mentors.

What was most challenging about working with the rest of the mentees in a team? How did you manage to overcome these differences?

I feel that the biggest challenge I faced was ‘myself’. I was shy for the first few weeks of the mentorship.I thought about how the weeks were going to go, and knew that I had to be more brave if I wanted to prove myself.

I knew that if I kept being shy, joining this mentorship will be pointless so I changed myself and also fortunately, the other mentees as well as mentors were friendly and approachable. This helped me a lot!

In what ways have the skills you’ve learnt over the course of the programme changed the way you play now?

I am more confident with myself to lead my team. Coach OMO broke down a few professional matches wish us to help us better understand the game. I can say that I have learned a thing or two from that!

How has the programme broaden your perspective on esports in Singapore beyond the role of a player?

Esports in Singapore is still small, but will definitely grow over the years.The talks by Xian and Chawy showed us that esports in the past was way smaller, but now, there are more opportunities. This motivates me to work harder towards what  I want to achieve: To represent Singapore at ICC for SGCL A Division Champion, or at Hyperplay or at Globe Conquerors Manila.

The talk by Furryfish* motivated me. I didn’t know who she was before the workshop, but after getting to know more about her and how far she has come, it was really impressive!

The programme has also showed me that esports is also about the coaches,casters and analysts. Majority have the perception that players matter the most, but truth is, coaches, casters, analysts and tech crew all had to work as hard, or even harder than the players.

Gerard ‘Escape Artiste’ Luke Peters, Caster Mentee

You’ve casted before prior to this programme. Now that you’ve completed 10 weeks of lessons and casted a showmatch, in what ways have you grown as a caster?

Gerard: Firstly, I’ve learned how to take care of my voice. Casting can be very taxing on the voice and this program has taught me how to warm up beforehand as well as things I should do to reduce any potential damage.

Secondly, I learned how to cast with a partner and how to interact with him. I’ve learned the importance of chemistry with your co-caster.

Thirdly, I learned how to vary my tone when casting to sound more expressive and less boring.

What’s the hardest part of casting for you?

Honestly, I feel that it’s hard to say what the hardest part of casting is but it may be needing to maintain a high energy level throughout the whole game/series, however long it may be.

What thoughts and emotions did you feel during the day of the showmatch?

I felt a mix of nervousness and excitement. It was a very fulfilling experience. Having watched Voyboy back when he was in LCS, it was like a dream come true to see him and cast by his side. It was very fun to tri-cast, an experience that I’ve have never had. I’m very grateful to be given this opportunity.

What’s the best advice you’ve received over the course of this 10-week programme?

This may sound cheesy but the advice was to work hard and diligently to chase your dreams.

How has the programme contributed to your future plans on being a caster and working in esports?

It has allowed me to have a better idea of the industry and set better goals for myself to achieve.

Leif ‘Esterified’ Phang, Coach cum Player Manager Mentee

You had the opportunity to work with all 10 player mentees. What was the highlight of that experience?

Leif: I have learnt a lot working with all 10 mentees such as their different playstyles and how each of them have a different perspective of the game. I have also made a lot of new friends who share the same favourite game as I do. Being able to discuss metas and gameplans with them was a very good experience for me.

The showmatch was the first time you coached on stage. What was most memorable about that day?

Looking at how all of us wanting to win the games made me feel comfortable and less nervous that I thought I would be. It was a great experience and I hope to go up on stage again one day.

Having the chance to coach two distinct teams, what was the greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

The two different teams had way different playstyles and I had to plan my priority picks and bans differently. It was difficult to transition between the two teams as both teams had players with different personalities, but I’m glad that I managed to properly interact with all 10 players in the end.

What changed for you, doing doing picks and bans during the trials, to drafting and reviewing games as a coach now?

I have learnt to see the game in a larger perspective and have improved my game knowledge. But I think that I could still improve and will continue to learn even though I’m not in this programme.

How has the programme changed the way you view esports in Singapore?

I think esports in Singapore is starting to grow and starting to gain recognition. I feel that there will be a chance for Singapore to grow big in esports in the coming future, and I might revolve my career around esports.