In a room of about 50 square meters, seven young people dream a beautiful dream of esports. They wish that one day they could play on international stages and live on esports.
They are called VG, a professional CS:GO squad from Malaysia. Though living with poor treatment and environment now, they didn’t lose their smile during the interview. It’s all because of love, as said by VG’s boss Meajer.
Practice makes perfect: 6 days a week, 12 hours a day.
It takes around 20 minutes’ drive from the center of Kuala Lumpur to the training base of VG, which is on the seventh floor of an ordinary building, with a balcony and a loft of about 10 square meters, parking lot and restaurants downstairs, two buildings still being built in the neighborhood. That’s where they train and live. There are six computers in the loft and members of VG have to spend 12 hours’ training on it every day, from 1 or 2 o’clock in the afternoon to 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning. Usually Sunday is their off-day and they will back home and have dinner with their family or just hang around and watch movies. VG’s players have woven their life with work, all they do every day is eating, sleeping and playing esports.
Every 11 o’clock in the morning, the team manager Lavy will be the first to wake up and then prepare food for the day. One hour later, other players get up and devote themselves into the training. The training plan is to find different teams online to compete with. Sniper Abu Schall from Maldives was recruited into VG through this way. There is no bed or sofa in the room, players just rest on the ground after training, VG’s boss Meajer told Beijing News. Even so, they never give up their career, which is also in a low tide in Malaysia. “This is all because of love” Meajer said proudly.
5000 MYR/month costed on a team
Meajer is only 22 years old, with popular hair style and always wearing smile on the face. As the boss of VG, he lives with his team members. To guarantee the smooth running of the team, he needs to raise funds to support the daily expense of the whole team. To cover the rent, the salary of the team members and the daily expense, at least 5000 to 6000 MYR is required every month. It’s worth noting that the per capita income in Kuala Lumpur is just between 2,000 and 3,000 MYR.
In the training base, rows of brands they have won in the competition are on display. The biggest one is a brand worthy of 50000 MYR gotten in a shooting competition only popular within Korean, Southeast Asia and North America. They won the championship with the help of commander Prady and the arrow Kenny, who are experts of that game. However, the game was stopped later so VG turn to the market of CS:GO.
Kenny said that CS:GO is a game providing players a stage to grow up. Players who are proficient at CS:GO could handle any other shooting games, a promise that other shooting games can’t make.
On the evening of August 19, EL CS:GO Asia Open 2018 Malaysia Qualifier concluded in Kuala Lumpur. 19 teams took part in the tournament including VG. The champion of the game will get the ticket to Asia Final in Shanghai.
VG got the third place in the end, missed the potato.
Fighting on the international stage has always been VG’s dream. They believe that dream could bring them bread, so they never give up. eXTREMSLAND provide them the opportunity to turn dream into reality, all they need is time.
Days lacking sponsorship are tough.
Though Kenny is only 23 years old, he is a veteran with more than 3 years’ experience of professional esports player and more than 10 years devoting into esports career.
“Malaysian esports still has a long way to go,” Kenny is very honest, “our gap with Europe and America, even with East Asia can’t be ignored.” The update of Malaysian esports team is too fast to make progress. If a team could stay together longer like one or two years, the gap must be narrower.
Meajer also agree with that. The personal skill of Malaysian player is impeccable, but they don’t pay much attention to team corporation and communication, which makes the group performance unsatisfying. This leads directly to poor income and sponsor.
No matter VG or members from other teams, even “Malaysian Esports Godfather” Frank Ng, they all admitted helplessly in the interview that money is the biggest obstacle on the development of Malaysian Esports. Dissolution is the only fate of many teams. Players are forced to leave the career they love, some even became a salesman.
Though with all these difficulties along the way, Malaysian esports is finally going to embrace its promising future. The Malaysian government began to invest and focus on the development of esports. Malaysian National Game will also become the official esports competition for the first time. In addition to actively hosting esports tournaments, governments are also taking some unpopular sports centers like squash, and turn them into esports training centers; leveraging and utilizing unused courts. What’s more, our newest youth sports minister who used to be a DOTA2 player, has made a commitment to allocate more budgets to develop esports and asked the esports association to submit a detailed plan on developing Malaysian esports. These encouraging steps make Meajer see hope. “The intervention of government will definitely let more people understand that esports is a positive sport and get rid of wrong perception and stereotype of esports.”