Lapping up the eSports excitement

DISTANCE was not a problem for Siu Tsz Fung as he and his friends travelled from Hong Kong to take part in the Wangan Midnight 5DX Plus Ultimate Tournament 2019 in Penang.

This was the first time that the 22-year-old wine seller travelled internationally to compete in the recent two-day virtual car racing competition.

“I practice two to three times a week and each takes at least six hours.

“I hope to be the champion for this tournament,” he said, adding that he started playing the game since he was 15.

Siu added he and his friends would be spending several days in Penang and the neighbouring states after completing the tournament.

After finishing in the top eight category in previous tournaments, Muhammad Amin Mazlan hopes to emerge champion this time.

“I took part in three smaller tournaments in Penang before.

“My teammate and I have been practicing twice a week with each session lasting around three hours,” said the 16-year-old student.

Student Chin Ming Hong was excited as this was his first time participating in such a tournament.

The 15-year-old local boy said he started playing the game since he was eight.

“I love the game and it is fun when I play with my peers,” he said, adding that he only plays the game on weekends.

Chin said his parents allowed him to play after he promised to study hard.

Siu, Mohammad Amin and Chin were among the 128 participants from six different countries at the Wangan Midnight 5DX Plus Ultimate Tournament 2019 held at Classic World in Prangin Mall.

The overall champion was a team made up of a Malaysian and a Singaporean while the first runners-up and second runners-up were teams from Hong Kong.

The champion would be representing Malaysia in international tournaments with sponsored accommodation, flight and registration fee.

State Youth and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee, who launched the event, welcomed the participants from Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Indonesia.

“I hope this tournament can bring about a positive impact to the community and build up a healthy eGame ecosystem in Penang.

“Wangan Midnight 5DX games is one of the most popular arcade games in amusement theme parks around the world.

“Every year, there are many tournaments worldwide and this is the first time we are having it on such a big scale in Penang,” he said.

Soon thanked Malaysian Association of Amusement Theme park and Family Attraction (MAATFA) for their support in making the event a success.

Tournament advisor Datuk Hng Ban Choon said the private sector was willing to work together with the state government to promote eSports here.

“eSports can diversify the sports industry and activate the economy. It can also open up social relations on an international level,” he said.

Also present at the event were MAATFA president president Richard Koh, Classic World manager Koay Boon Keong, event project manager Jack Hng and Bandai Namco Japan representatives Yoshihide Tameto and Takahide Oyama.

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