Last week, as a joke from the gods, we were invited to Johor to cover the CS:GO Minor Championship ASIA, organised in collaboration by PGL and eGG Network held at the Pinewood Iskandar Studios in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on October 28–30, 2016.
It’s a joke because I am quite a CS:GO noob.
What I knew about the game:
- It’s a first-person shooter game.
- Requires lots of shooting.
- Switch weapons for more damage.
- Don’t die.
Yeap, that’s pretty much it.
Sitting at the front row of the studio and watching the professionals play the game live is probably one of the dreams of hardcore CS:GO fans. I had to look enthusiastic so that I don’t get stoned by the other avid gamers present.
How was it like watching the game as a noob? Here were some of my thoughts.
1. Okay, so basically it’s just gonna be a bunch of people randomly shooting each other.
2. Actually hor, some of these e-sports players don’t look too bad leh. So much for the nerdy anti-social hobo gamer stereotype.
3. Oh commentators. With proper explanations. Thank God. Ooooh fancy stage lights.
4. So many people running around the screen, how to %$^#! to know which team they belong to?!
5. Oh okay wait, the characters are highlighted in team colours, that helps.
6. How are the maps selected anyway? Is it completely random?
7. Ooooh that looks like a pretty map, I hope it gets selecte—Ok nope, it didn’t. Nevermind…
8. Oh it’s starting, finally!
9. They’re just running around.
10. Why they running around with knives?
11. Why do they only have knives?! What happened to the guns?
12. OH WARMING UP LAH. PFFFFT. Excited for nothing.
13. Okokok NOW they’re starting for real.
14. Eh eh stop switching the players la I can’t even keep up.
15. Ok like, just kill each other already!
16. Why need to plant and defuse bomb? Just shoot and kill everyone la right?
17. Wait, what just happened? How did that team win? Not everyone on the other team died!
18. Oh so that’s what the bomb and defusing thingie is for.
19. WHAT is with them and the knives?
20. Why are they just throwing stuff around before the match?
21. OH SH*T this team from China consists of killing machines.
22. SH*T SH*T SH*T IT’S A MASSACRE. PEOPLE BE DYING.
23. Damn, nxl is getting thrashed. Just get one point dammit.
24. SHOOT SOMEONE. ANYONE.
25. This is just painful.
26. NOOOOOO. It’s over. That was quick!
27. Oh they’re shaking hands. Much sportsmanship.
28. Awww poor nxl who lost.
29. Goodie, a break before the next match. Toilet time.
It got better for the next few matches. I was less confused, mostly thanks to the commentators.
Watching the live e-sports match made me realise that it was almost as good (and as suspenseful) as watching Lee Chong Wei battling it out on the court with Lin Dan. You don’t have to play the game to be able to enjoy it, just as how you don’t have to play badminton to be able to support the Malaysian team.
This is a taste of the future.
Faisal Ariffin, the manager of the Malaysian CS:GO team, Fire Dragoon E-Sports couldn’t have said it better: “E-sports is not just games anymore. You don’t sit at home playing games for 6 to 12 hours a day for fun. Right now, it is considered a sport and the world’s slowly starting to see it.
Soon more TV channels will be streaming this for people everywhere to watch and media will be covering every e-sports event out there. So the Malaysian ministry should realise this potential and invest in this, just as they did for football and badminton.”
eGG Network is a 24/7 eSports and gaming entertainment channel available via Astro in Malaysia. The channel was launched in June 2016 and plans to expand its distribution to more countries in Southeast Asia by end of the year.
Since 2002, PGL has been running offline events and producing esports related content for national and international audiences.