By The Loop HK
In 2018, a Hong Kong team took home the Hearthstone gold medal in e-sports, a demonstration sport at the Asian Games. To keep the dice rolling in the city’s favour and in anticipation of this year’s e-Sports & Music Festival Hong Kong (EMFHK), four e-sports veterans in Hong Kong share their biggest takeaways from the past year for the benefit of aspiring gamers in 2019.
“In order to make it as a professional player, you need to get yourself noticed,” says Mix, a Hong Kong PUBG pro gamer currently based in Taiwan. “My teammates [at the time] and I enrolled into as many tournaments as we could, frantically pressing F5 as soon as the applications opened.”
He further advises players to take advantage of EMFHK 2019: “The Hong Kong PUBG World Invitational at the e-Sports & Music Festival Hong Kong in 2018 was a big break for me,” he explains, since it led to subsequent offers from professional e-sports teams. “Tournaments are the best shot you have at raising your profile as a player, and they don’t come by often. Seize every opportunity.”
NuL, team captain of professional PUBG e-sports team ‘Game Dimension’ (GDE), has won top prizes in over 30 tournaments throughout his 19-year career. His team came first at the Hong Kong PUBG World Invitational - Hong Kong Qualifiers at EMFHK 2018. “More and more teenagers are telling us they want to quit school and become pro players. My advice? Work hard in school.”
Even though NuL first became an e-sports player at 14, he stayed in school and went on to university in the United States. He also has a day-time job in tech. “If you have a dream, you should definitely pursue it. But it’s very difficult to make a living as a pro player in Hong Kong. To be in it for the long haul, you need a plan for extra income,” he says. “Besides, knowledge is a powerful asset. It will make you a better player.”
“People tend to associate e-sports players with money and glamour,” says Martin Yau, manager of GDE and a freelance e-sports broadcaster. “But e-sports is a brutal industry — everything depends on your ranking, and it’s physically taxing work. You train up to 9 hours a day. Neck and shoulder pain is common, as well as blurry vision.”
“There is a whole host of career options in e-sports,” Yau reveals. “We need broadcasters, emcees, event planners, programmers, et cetera. Being a pro gamer is not the only way.” Check out the EMFHK 2019’s Experience Zone to meet exhibitors and stay in-the-know about the latest products and developments.
Mobile e-sports will be the biggest trend for 2019, Martin Yau predicts. “I’ve worked as a broadcaster for more mobile e-sports events than desktop ones the past several months.” Popular mobile e-sports games include PUBG Mobile, Arena of Valor, and Honor of Kings.
Don’t miss out on this trend by heading to this year’s EMFHK - e-Sports Tournaments 'Honor of Kings' Official City Tournament, the PUBG Mobile Hong Kong Tournament, or just having fun at the brand new Mobile Game Party at EMFHK 2019!
“Pro-gaming is really a team sport — the six of us train together for 8 to 9 hours daily,” Mix says. “We have long discussions about how to improve. Because we must work together, it leaves no room for toxicity. We can’t blame each other. We must take care of each other. That creates a bond I can’t put into words, and it has completely transformed my temperament.”
“Most gamers start out in their own living room or bedroom,” says Sam ‘Sawmong’ Wong, a semi-pro PUBG player. “But I advise all gamers to attend a live event at least once in their lifetime. The cheering, the adrenaline… it’s almost addictive.”
The Hong Kong PUBG World Invitational at EMFHK 2018 was one of Sam’s most memorable live tournaments. His team, ‘HK9’, came second in one round to much cheering from the audience, and placed seventh out of 16 overall. “Everyone was yelling my team’s name, wanting us to win the game. It was a fantastic feeling.”
Catching the games as part of the audience is a great way to get better at gaming as well. The highlight tournaments at the EMFHK 2019 will be the CS:GO World Invitational and the 2019 League of Legends International College Cup.
EMFHK 2019 will take place from July 26–28. Click for more details here.
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