The 2019 SEA Games, which is taking place in the Philippines from November 30 to December 11, promises to be a gamechanger.
Esports will be officially recognised as a medal sport for the first time ever in the regional event’s history.
While the full Malaysian esports SEA Games roster has not been finalised yet, here are the players who made it through the Malaysian Esports Selection process to possibly represent us on this grand stage.
Team Unicorn, For DotA 2
Team Unicorn consists of:
- Yeong “Mercury” Shi Jie
- Chua “KaNG” Soon Khong
- Cheong “Czy” Zhi Yang
- Tan “TrazaM” Kai Soon
- Team Captain, Lee ‘Jolly’ Chien Jee
They were selected after their win against Team Felix+4, which included the likes of Ng “YamateH” Wei Poong and Khoo “Ohaiyo” Chong Xin.
This was impressive because YamateH is a veteran among veterans, having played since the days of DotA 1 during the dawn of esports.
This earned him recognition as one of the five ‘first generation gods’ by the Chinese gaming community.
At one time, YameteH was one of the official national representatives for Malaysia for DotA 2 after winning the Malaysian Cyber Games 2015.
Ohaiyo, on the other hand, is considered the ‘Lee Chong Wei’ of DotA 2. He was part of Team Fnatic, which placed 4th in The International 3 (imagine the world cup of DotA) and earned RM5.6 million in prize money.
He’s also currently one of the highest earning esports players in Malaysia with over RM2 million in winnings.
By slaying these two titans, Team Unicorn have certainly earned their time in the spotlight.
Team Unicorn formed in 2019 and has competed in 3 notable tournaments thus far, including the Electronic Sports League (ESL) MY&SG Championship Season 1 and 2, as well as winning third place at the World Cyber Games (WCG) 2019 APAC Finals.
Shopee Bosskur, For Mobile Legends
Shopee Bosskurr’s team consists of:
- Ahmad “Fredo” Fuad Bin Razali
- Andi “Grippex” Alfian Bin Firman
- Herwin “Rush” Bin Baharuddin
- Sofian “Penjahat” Bin Sultan
- Abdul “Logan” Wandi Bin Abdul Kadir
- Mohd “Soloz” Faris Bin Zakaria
Formerly known as Team Saiyan, their rise to prominence was fraught with difficulty.
The original team was formed in 2017 by a group of friends, Fredo, Hangus, Rush, HawkEye, Kuja, and Jepv. They won 1st place in their debut tournament, the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Coup (MSC) KL 2017.
But they lost most of their players due to lack of team cohesion, with some members leaving to form their own teams.
Rush and Hawkeye stayed, recruiting players Penjahat, Gripex and Logan to compete in the Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL).
They quickly became the number one team in the league, and rebranded as AirAsia Saiyan after being bought by AirAsia.
However, they eventually disbanded in 2018. According to the team themselves, their performance was not good enough for their management, and they didn’t enjoy playing the game with the pressure placed on them.
Despite these difficulties, the team reappeared as Team Bosskurr and continued to be a top contender in the MPL.
After securing a sponsorship with Shopee in April 2019, they rebranded once again, this time to Shopee Bosskur.
M8HEXA, For Arena Of Valor And Starcraft 2
M8HEXA will be pulling double duty, putting forth a team for Arena of Valor as well a single competitor named Ranger, for Starcraft 2.
M8HEXA’s team for Arena of Valor consists of:
- Yim “Seven” Zhen Hao
- Chan “ryo” Choung Guan
- Tan “Kun” Wei Kun
- Chin “Tainted1s” Wei Song
- Teh “Drmcp” Kuan Peng
Impressively, M8HEXA qualified at 1st place at both the open and closed qualifiers of the ESL Clash Of Nations 2019, and finally won 5th-6th place at the tournament proper. They also came 1st in season 4 of the Valor Cup.
M8HEXA also runs the first mobile gaming co-working esports hub in Malaysia.
On the Starcraft 2 front, Kein Khun “Ranger” Yap, who wants to be the best player in the world in this arena, will certainly get his chance at the SEA games.
Having played competitive Starcraft for 4 years, Ranger represented Malaysia in the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) for 3 years, and recently competed in the 2019 WCS Spring: Oceania, Sea Qualifier.
Zaba, For Tekken 7
Zarif ‘Zaba’ Aiman first garnered attention at the Janda Cup, one of the first Malaysian Tekken 7 tournaments.
His breakout performance saw him battling his way to a 3rd place, with fellow local Ahmad “Mestre Arenz” Zaharin in 1st place and Indonesian challenger Muhammad “Meat” Jusuf in 2nd.
This was quite a respectable showing since Meat is regarded as Indonesia’s best Tekken player, and Mestre Arenz is a veteran since the days of Tekken 1 back in 1994. Mestre Arenz also won 1st place and 3rd place rankings at WCG Malaysia 2011 and WCG Asia 2011 respectively.
Zaba himself went on to qualify as the lone Malaysian representative for Tekken 7 at the International esports Federation (IESF) World Championship 2017 in Taiwan, and now, for the upcoming SEA Games.
As a gamer myself, I’m excited to see that the esports industry has been quickly redefining the term ‘athlete’.
Esports being recognised as a medal event in the SEA Games alongside traditional sports is a huge and well-deserved accolade, as it validates all the hard work these unsung esports athletes have put into their craft.
So, let’s show our esports players (and the other 795 athletes we’re sending to the games) all the love and support we can muster as they compete to bring back the gold for Malaysia.
- You can read more about what we have written on esports here.
Featured Image Credit: The Hive and SEA Games 2019