In the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, there are a few places that young people like to visit at their free time. Cyber Café happened to be one of the places youngster like to spend their time. Orange chain Esports Café is the giant in chain Cyber café, and its flagship store Orange Esports Stadium is right next to a busy street in KLCC. People are wearing gaming headsets, and keeping their eyes on the screen, they cannot let any action miss out from their read. They are using the keyboard in one hand, while dragging the mouse in the other, it’s the only contact they have with the game. Through the skill of their own, and the excitement bring from their teammate; occasionally, you would often hear sudden cheers will break the quiet.
Some of these youngsters have a dream in esports, they hope if they can one day join a well-known team, and even wear the national flag to represent national honor to participate in the world class competition. They got to do this from day-to-day practice. However, this is destined to be a road full of thorns and bumps, never easy to go.
One example is the Malaysian professional player Mushi, who is well-known by Chinese players in the DOTA2 scene. He has been lingering in Internet cafes since childhood, and was once regarded by his parents as a child with poor character. But Mushi found a glowing stage in e-sports, and grew from an amateur player to the top class.
In his career, the 2013 International Dota 2 Championship is a milestone. Although Mushi led the Orange Esports team to the third place in the game, but this is his closest moment to the world championship and also Malaysia's dazzling moment in the world e-sports arena.
The 2013 TI3 was a radiant moment for Orange or say Malaysia's "Orange Team". Mushi and the "Orange Team" surprised everyone, crushed Dignitas in North America, and also sent the European powerhouse Fnatic and two Chinese teams back to their hometowns!
As the founder of the Orange Esports chain and the organizer of many esports events in Malaysia, Mr. Ng Shun Ming (Frank) witnessed the peak of Orange and the small era of the rapid rise of Southeast Asian esports. However, in 2014, Orange's DOTA2 division was dissolved for a variety of reasons.
According to Frank, esports is a glamorous sport. Both the players and the audience are very young, have a high level of participation. Esports has a lot of potential, hence, Orange is actively exploring chain Internet cafes throughout Malaysia. Orange sponsors large and small tournaments, and continuing to take care and upgrade Internet cafes' equipment, according to the trend of the game. Frank is committed to meet the requirement of esports enthusiasts, and promotes the development of Malaysian esports industry.
However, this is far from enough. After all, in the esports industry, Malaysia is still far behind to the developed countries. And Frank believes it needs more parties involved in order to pull this off in Malaysia.
Fortunately, the eye-catching performance of Mushi and Orange Esports Team at the TI3 led to a series of chemical reactions to Orange. In January 2015, the Malaysian government announced the establishment of the Esports Malaysia (eSM) and the inclusion of esports in the management of the National Sports Commission. In Malaysia, esports has become an official sport since then. Like a catalyst, policy support from the government let Frank and esports enthusiasts see hope in the future. Yet, in Malaysia, the development of esports was still restricted by reality.
Taking the personal cultivation of professional players for an instance, many people believe that excellence comes from talent, but only the genius is clear that "My achievements are not only from hard work, but also from correct practice." The correct exercise requires not only a good coach, but also a goal, a plan, feedbacks, a variety of events to train. In Malaysia, there are generally local regional competitions with low prize pool, and only very few international tournaments, which makes it difficult for local Malaysian players to accumulate big stage experience of tournaments.
Over the years, the rapid rise of esports in China, made Frank envious about it but at the same time; Frank is also look really forward to see how Chinese Esports can Lead Asia as a whole.
Frank never stops thinking and seeking for opportunities to make esports great in Malaysia. In mid-2017, the eXTREMESLAND CS:GO Asia Open Tournament officially kicked off. The Orange Esports represents the official partner of eXTREMESLAND in China.
As said by Frank, in terms of CS:GO, the competitive level of Southeast Asian gamers is quite different from that of European and American professional players. In order to catch up to the gap, we need a lot more experience of high-quality events. eXTREMESLAND Asia Open is the first Asia-Pacific CS:GO esports event with the biggest scale, covering whole Asia and Asia Pacific regions from Turkey to New Zealand. Being able to compete with the top players in Asian countries is too good of an opportunity for Malaysian players to miss.
To a certain extent, eXTREMESLAND Asia Open is the "new Silk Road" that connects all parts of Asia and promotes greater development in esports. This is not only for Malaysia, but the rest of the Asia Pacific. Regional qualifiers are held, the annual eXTREMESLAND CS:GO Asia Open Tournament is constantly refreshing various records, such as the number of teams registered for the tournaments. The number of players participating in the election, and the number of people watching the game online at the same time, etc., all the data prove that the scale and influence of eXTREMESLAND is increasing.
At this very moment, the author is in the Orange Esports Stadium in the city central of Kuala Lumpur. The 2018 Malaysian Qualifiers for the 3rd year eXTREMELAND CS:GO Asia Open The winning team will win the only ticket to the Asian Finals, representing Malaysia.
In the pre-match interview, a professional player told the author that after a year of hard training, his personal skills and tactics have been greatly improved. The entire team's understanding of the map, as well as the coordination and cooperation with each other, has gradually become better. They are full of confidence to fight for Malaysian local champions. However, when talking about the Asian finals to be held in Shanghai, China, the author saw him pause for a while and said with a smile. "Although Malaysia lost to Thailand last year and missed the top eight, although we have to face many Asian top teams, please believe me, this year we Malaysia will definitely go further and closer to the Asian champions."
During the gap between the competitions, the author visited the large esports stadium under the guidance of the CEO of Orange Internet Café. The space here is wide and the seats are very spacious, with no noise or smell at all. As this is uncommon to see to a Chinese Author, the esports equipment being used is also of world-class.
The most impressive scene is the rows of ZOWIE XL ZONE gaming area, with more than 200 BenQ ZOWIE XL series professional esports gaming monitors.
For Frank, who has founded more than 50 Orange chain cafés across Malaysia and has been hosting various online/offline events for many years. Esports is a big part of his life. Regardless of being in the low tide of esports development, or being overwhelmed by the hype of Orange Esports’DOTA2 team. Frank seems to be optimistic to his career. In his view, the road to championship, the road to success, and the road to faith are all needed to be done step by step. In the right direction, the only thing that needs to do is to persevere, and time will prove everything.