Nicholas Lim, better known as zeal (named after the Zealot from Starcraft), is a 24-year-old Malaysian, currently playing in the offlane for the Chinese organization, EHOME. Despite Liquipedia stating he's a stand-in, Lim is a permanent member and has been one for the past four months. "I've been a permanent member since the start!" he clarified about his place on the team.
Lim recounted to me the story of how he ended up in EHOME last year. Unsure of what he wanted to do after graduating with a degree in computer science, zeal received an invitation from EHOME to play Dota 2 for them. “The deadline for the DPC (Dota Pro Circuit) registration was ending and they didn't have a lot of time to try out new players. They asked me, 'do you want to play with these four guys? They are young, around your age.' I took some time to consider their offer," zeal told me. Since he was interested in playing Dota 2 professionally, it was no surprise he said yes.
Prior to accepting EHOME's offer, zeal had no experience playing with his current teammates. Shiro, 7e, planet and zzq were four rising stars that EHOME had signed for the new season after their previous roster parted. By happy chance, zeal fit right in with the guys and they went on to finish top four in the DPC CN 2021/2022 Tour 1. EHOME had a 4-3 score, with their losses handed to them by the big boys of the division: PSG.LGD, Team Aster and Royal Never Give Up (RNG). An impressive result for a somewhat new team.
I asked zeal what it was like to have to play against some of the best teams in the world. He responded, "they are more experienced so they have better in-game decisions than us. But it's kinda fun to play against them especially since I have friends on the opposite side." Just like EHOME, a handful of Chinese squads also field Malaysians in their roster. JT and Oli in Invictus Gaming, xNova in RNG, and NothingToSay in PSG.LGD. Going against them reminded him of the good old days back when he was a nobody competing in amateur Malaysian Dota tournaments.
"I used to go up against players like NothingToSay and he would always demolish me, so I escaped to the offlane, where I don’t have to see him for ten minutes!" zeal joked. In case you didn't know, Lim used to be a mid player but switched roles because he felt he couldn't be the best. He played mid in his earlier teams because none of his friends wanted the responsibility. Once he got to know better carry and mid players, he transitioned to the offlane where he found himself performing better. He believes he has much more potential as an offlaner than a mid player.
While it's a dream come true for zeal to play Dota 2 professionally, competing in China is a far cry from the events he used to compete in during his secondary school and college days. "In China, teams are much more structured. I had to learn to play Dota the same way. It was hard at first but after some time I got used to it." No longer was he playing for tiny prize pools or arbitrary titles, the Malaysian now represents one of the oldest organizations in the game's history.
It's also one of the reasons why a lot of Malaysians have moved to China to compete in Dota 2 professionally. "A lot of Malaysians play in China because of the infrastructure and tournaments. There are not enough organisations to back up new and younger players in Malaysia. Malaysian Chinese players can also communicate with Chinese players easily."
That being said, zeal still hasn't gone to China yet, and likely won't until May or June this year. Issues with visas (possibly due to the pandemic) have left most of the Malaysians playing remotely for the Chinese DPC this season. Fortunately, ping isn't a huge issue - playing from Malaysia through a VPN gets him about a 50 ping connection to China, sufficient for a game like Dota 2. He has seen a preview of EHOME boot camp and looks forward to going there someday. Until then, he'll be busy playing and training from Malaysia.
Lim's daily routine consists of 2-3 sets of scrims a day (best-of-twos) in the afternoon until night, with an hour break in between for dinner. When they run into problems with the game, they have lane practice against each other (sometimes before their scrims). After training, they are free to do what they want though they are encouraged to play solo rank to improve their mechanical skills. They get one day off (Sunday) for breaks and use it for additional practice when they have tournaments coming up. When he has some downtime, he unwinds by playing games like Monster Hunter, CS:GO, and Apex Legends casually. During busy periods, he doesn't touch other games at all.
Zeal used to stream his games on Twitch but stopped due to lack of motivation. Not having a strong following when he's the kind of person who thrives on viewer interaction felt depressing after a while. Perhaps one day he'll pick it up again.
Wrapping up the interview, I asked him a hypothetical question. If a huge organization came to Malaysia to start a new Dota 2 team and he got to play position 3, who would fill up the other slots? His answer: NothingToSay in the mid lane, MidOne for carry, and ah fu and Oli as supports. However, he mentioned that it probably won't happen.
"The thing about an all-Malaysian squad is - there are motivation issues. Everyone has different commitments and when you're based in Malaysia, everyone is more chilled and tend to do their own things. Everyone won't be pressured to improve and will stay in their comfort zone, which is why I believe that's one of the reasons why Malaysian teams haven't been thriving. Everyone is too comfortable with each other." What a bummer. Perhaps things could change in the future?
He also shared some advice for people interested in improving their offlane skills. "Watch good offlane players, not me, watch Faith_bian, Collapse and iceiceice (his favourite offlaners) - they have very unique hero pools and tend to take over games by themselves and they are cool people. Watch a ton of replays, play a lot, die a lot and try to get experience from dying to see how far you can go."
"If I have any fans, thanks for supporting and continuing to support me. I'll try my best to get into The International this year and hope everything goes well for me. Stay safe and stay healthy." To his haters, "I don't really care about the comments that people say though some of them can be really cruel. But I'm happy to be playing Dota professionally, and they're not!"
Catch zeal and EHOME in action in the DPC CN 2021/2022 Tour 2: Division I, happening now until 22 April, live on Twitch and YouTube. Keep up to date with the player on Twitter.
“If I wasn’t a streamer, I’d be a Tesla-driving Uber driver,” said Chun Lin, or better known to his fans as VeryTJ (飛常天真) on Facebook Gaming. There was something about driving that fascinated the Taiwanese streamer as it became his go-to answer for a few questions we had throughout the interview. When he wasn’t being serious, his fun and jovial demeanour brought a lot of laughter to the conversation.
“My nickname, ‘Fēi cháng tiānzhēn’ is a reminder myself to not be naive. It’s a name I’ve used for a very long time. However, I am still a naive guy,” he said when asked about his nickname. Based on the success he’s had as a streamer so far, it doesn’t look like he’s as naive as he thinks.
The 33-year-old Facebook Gaming Creator, who has been streaming for many years, worked a lot of different jobs before transitioning into a full-time content creator - his last job being a security guard. When the opportunity came knocking, he accepted without hesitation, said the long term gamer who remembers playing Stone Age Online (the 1999 MMO) as one of his first games. He then transitioned to other games like Lineage and League of Legends as he grew older and it was the former title that helped him kickstart his streaming career.
Being part of the service industry, he felt that he had the skills for the task. “Both jobs require you to connect with people, and since I was good at that, I felt I could be a streamer.” He wasn’t wrong, people instantly noticed how charismatic he was. Unlike streamers who get recognized for raging, it was his positivity that helped him build a fanbase. He attracted folks who enjoyed his jolly vibes. “In the beginning, I had a lot of viewers who told me that I had very positive energy and they encouraged me to go keep streaming.”
“The best part about streaming is when I pull off skilful moves or outplays, emotions are high for me and my viewers, and we get hyped together!” However, the good comes with the bad and it’s not always rosy in chat. “Once in a while, I’ll get passersby who watch me fail and flame me or compare me to other streamers - I hate that!” Fortunately, since switching to Facebook Gaming, he’s been dealing with a more peaceful and less toxic chat.
Some people have even insulted him for his appearance, which has led VeryTJ to turn off his camera for most of his streams on Facebook. Fortunately, he doesn’t need to rely on his looks to keep his audiences’ attention. “When there is no camera, the quality of the stream is not dependent on my looks. Viewers will watch because of the gameplay.”
And it’s no coincidence that gameplay is the main focus of VeryTJ’s stream. The former League of Legends player who switched to Arena of Valor is good at what he does. If he’s so good, why doesn’t he go pro then? We asked and he joked that he felt he was too old to play professionally and he would starve as an esports athlete - apparently, they aren’t paid well enough. Fortunately for him, he has his streaming career and a loyal fanbase to keep him going.
“When I started, the most difficult part was finding out what was special about myself. How was I going to catch the attention of viewers? I had to discover what was my selling point.” Eventually, he discovered he had the knack to make people laugh and the skills to outplay his opponents - which has carried him thus far.
Chun Lin intends to keep streaming for a very long time - until people don’t want to watch him anymore. Then he’d start anew as an Uber driver or launch a talent agency to help streamers grow their career. He wants to help people out with all the knowledge he had to learn on his own - like figuring out how to grow an audience.
“For people who want to start streaming on YouTube or Twitch - as long as your family is rich enough, you can do it,” he said in jest and promptly followed with sincere advice, “if you want to stream, think of it as a hobby. If you stream as a hobby, you’ll be more passionate about it and you can go further. If you do it for income, you will take it as a job, which will negatively affect your stream.”
To his fans, he concluded the interview with a message of thanks, “if there is no them, there is no me.” And though he might not get recognized in public right now, he might be a familiar face in the rearview mirror of a rideshare car you get in next time.
In the meantime, check out VeryTJ live on Facebook Gaming, and stay tuned to eGG Network for more interviews with your favourite Creators!
At first glance, Mita doesn’t look like the kind of person who likes sticking blades into the hearts of her opponents but after spending a few minutes watching her stream, I immediately changed my mind. Despite her cheery and coy demure, Mita doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to slicing up enemies standing in her path to Glory - and yes, we’re talking about Naraka: Bladepoint - a game she’s been streaming almost every day since discovering it this year.
Mita is a unique Facebook Creator. Unlike most of her fellow streamers, she wasn’t a gamer from a very young age. The Taiwanese streamer’s first foray into gaming was in college, where she was introduced to the dancing game, Audition Online. The game’s simplistic and rhythmic controls were enough to kickstart her interest in the hobby. Being able to beat other people in the lobby was a taste of things to come - it awakened a competitive spirit inside her.
Shortly after, Mita was introduced to League of Legends, a game with which she fell in love immediately. The 5v5 Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) checked all the right boxes for her, and she couldn’t stop playing it. Mita would even bring her laptop to work to hop into some games during her free time when she was a cosmetics salesperson at a department store. LoL was her life, so it was fitting that it ignited her streaming career.
“Back then, my friends suggested that I give streaming a try since I was always staying home and playing LoL,” she admitted. Instead of going out to party and have fun like other people her age, she was more of a homebody. With no idea of what to expect, she took her friends’ advice and broadcast her gameplay on Twitch. There weren’t many Taiwanese female streamers playing LoL during that era and with her streaming 8 hours a day, it didn’t take long to build a loyal following.
After finding success as a streamer, Mita turned it into her full-time job by signing with a talent agency and leaving sales behind. Having an agency let her focus on what she enjoyed doing - streaming and playing games - while they handled everything else. It also opened additional opportunities for the streamer, landing her photoshoots, brand deals and more. The fact that she had people to help style, plan videos and write scripts was the icing on the cake.
The reception to her singing was encouraging, and it gave Mita the confidence to release a number of high-effort music videos, which also demonstrated her acting skills.
To prove that she can be successful anywhere she wanted, Mita made the decision to switch streaming platforms earlier this year. Leaving her Twitch account behind, she jumped to Facebook where she rebuilt her fanbase. Her most loyal supporters followed her, of course, but it didn’t take long for her to hit the same heights she was capable of. People followed Mita wherever she went.
Speaking of following - Mita mentioned that she is constantly recognized in public, even with a mask on. “One time I went to 7-Eleven with a motorcycle helmet on and a fan noticed me!” While she’s gotten used to the fame, she remains thankful to all her fans. Without them, she wouldn’t be living this dream life. Mita believes her success comes from the way she treats her viewers.
“If you recognize someone who watches your stream many times, the viewer will think ‘oh this streamer remembers me’ and they will come back to watch you,” says Mita, who spent her early days as a streamer welcoming every single viewer to her channel. The fact that she also enjoys making new friends while gaming made the task easy to accomplish.
Overall she’s had more good experiences than bad, involving her viewers. In fact, Mita’s fondest memories of her career are the online singing sessions with her audience and the parties she would occasionally host for her friends and fans to hang out together in person. Talk about down to earth! It’s not every day you hear about streamers hosting get-togethers for their viewers.
In the future, Mita wants to do more singing and hanging out streams. She’s also considering getting back into LoL (she stopped playing the game after the demise of the Taiwanese league (LMS) and her friends switched to China’s servers). She also wants to upgrade her streaming room and equipment.
To her loyal fans, she concludes, “thank you for your support even though I don’t stream LoL anymore!” Catch Mita live on her Facebook Page, check out her videos on YouTube and stay tuned to eGG Network for more interviews with your favourite Facebook Gaming Creators!
Chhineneang Leangmeng, better known as Noobie GMK, is one of the biggest Facebook Gaming Creators in Cambodia. Over the past five years, the twenty-four-year-old from Prey Veng province has managed to amass over six hundred thousand followers on the platform and it doesn't look like he's stopping anytime soon. Every time you tune into his channel, you can expect to see a cheerful, jovial boy, having a good time in front of the camera - be it swinging swords in Naraka Bladepoint or driving long distances in Euro Truck Simulator or shooting down opponents in PUBG.
However, things weren't always this peachy for the young Khmer. He had to work hard, in the beginning, to establish a following - back when he was a nobody and was dabbling in content creation for fun. Noobie's foray into the scene started with his YouTube channel, where he shared videos of him playing games with his friends and online acquaintances. "At that time, I only got 1-5 viewers! And they were just from my mates. But day by day, our number of views grew," he recalled.
With his YouTube channel gaining traction, he found opportunities to be part of the esports scene when he organized and casted a Vainglory tournament from his own bedroom. It was from that point onwards when the doors flew open for him and his esports career took off. Since then, he has organized and casted many tournaments for various games, such as Rules of Survival and PUBG (PC and Mobile) for brands like ASUS and Huawei.
However, his time in esports is coming to an end, he admitted during the interview. "My career in esports is almost over because I have a lot outside work (his regular job). But I have noticed that the esports scene in Cambodia has gotten much better recently, and there are many other people who are getting involved in the industry."
Unlike a lot of streamers we have interviewed in the past, Noobie GMK isn't a full-time content creator. When he's not in front of his computer at home, he's in front of a computer elsewhere, doing his job as an IT security specialist. Thanks to his steady job, he makes good use of his stream income by spending it on people in need. "Since I'm supported through Facebook Stars from fans every month, I always collect those Stars to help those who are weak or needy such as homeless people. Especially every year on my birthday, I buy books and supplies to help schools in rural areas."
His generosity stems from the fact that he grew up in a low-income household, where he went through the struggles of living frugally. "I am not the son of a rich family. My mother was a factory worker and my father was a motorcycle repairman. But they really worked hard for me and I thank them for making me who I am today."
"When I was a child, I was the kid who was disobedient to teachers and my parents, I liked to make my own decisions! But when I grew older, I realized I was actually being a nuisance and after that, I vowed to myself that I will repay them for all the trouble I had caused. Today, I do what I can to alleviate the burden of my family by buying groceries, paying for the car, bills and so on. All I want to do is to see them happy and smiling."
When Noobie was in fourth grade, his cousin, an expert in computers, taught him everything he knew about the subject. This turned out to be a momentous point in the young boy's life as he became fascinated with computers and the world of tech. In tenth grade, he got his first gig writing about tech which led him down the path of gaming, esports, and where he is today. "Games changed my life," is a motto Noobie lives by, and is something that has stayed relevant to him till today.
Like many parents in this part of the world, they found it hard to accept Noobie's decision to game for a career. Streaming wasn't a thing back then (and still isn't widely accepted yet), so it was difficult to garner their support. But after putting in the effort, work and hours, he achieved his goals of being a successful content creator and they are now fully backing him.
Noobie GMK didn't have many people to look up to when he was starting out as a streamer. He didn't have anyone to help or guide him in his circle. He felt like the only one in Cambodia doing it and had to explain to a lot of people what being a streamer meant. However, this obstacle had a silver lining - it allowed Noobie to do what he loved: share information with the public.
While he was already reaching out to people through his tech-focused blog (which he claims was in Alexa's top 10 during its heyday), streaming allowed him to reach out to an even wider audience, especially after he gained recognition through the tournaments he organized. Fun fact, the letters in (Noobie) GMK stand for Game, Meng (part of his name) and Knowledge/Khmer - not to be confused with GMK electronic design GMBH! From the very beginning, he already had a goal to spread knowledge. Since he was the one who was a self-made expert on the topic, he could be the one that people turned to, he helped a lot of people who needed advice about starting a stream and continues to do so.
Though he enjoys how streaming has improved the gaming community in Cambodia, he has some problems with it as well. Noobie dislikes streamers who use inappropriate words on stream and show unscrupulous content to attract attention. He is also tired of the perceptions of gaming being criminal in the country. He's trying to change all that by setting an example. Noobie also makes sure that any sponsorship deals he accepts fall in line with his goals. "Do not demand attention. Find your true fans - that is better than any other traction which won't allow you to grow in the future. As a streamer, we should share and show good things to our fans!"
Noobie is happy with how things are going now - he can fulfil his dreams, has a decent income, and loves what he is doing - but he's not about to rest on his laurels just yet. His current goal is to hit a million Facebook followers within 2022.
"Finally, I would like to thank you for your support from the beginning till today. I am lucky to have and know all of you and I hope you continue to support me like this for the rest of my career."
Tune in to Noobie GMK's streams - every day, 6 PM (GMT+8) onwards on Facebook Gaming and check out his videos on YouTube. For more interviews and features on your favourite Facebook Gaming creators, stay tuned to eGG Network!
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many lives for better or worse. For this Malaysian esports shoutcaster (not his only speciality), after 10-ish years of working in the corporate world, Sir_Cloud ventured forth to take his interests to the next level.
Fortunately, the huge risk he took reaped equally gargantuan rewards, regularly casting PMPL MY/SG (PUBG Mobile Professional League Malaysia/Singapore), the Wild Rift ICON Series (or ESL Mobile Open) and even the international PMCG 2021 (PUBG Mobile Global Championship). With such enthusiastic yet insightful commentary from the 35-year-old, one can see why he’s been involved in so many renowned esports tournaments.
Andrew “Sir_Cloud” Cheong’s own electronic sports journey began with Dota, which he used to be a hardcore player of since “the day of Blue Server and it’s a game that still holds a special place in my heart”. Mind you, it’s not an adjective this writer included lightly - he actually started out creating content that centred on Dota 2, ranging from meta videos and articles to live streaming his discussion of Valve’s MOBA.
But that was just the start - Sir_Cloud took his next esports step mock casting the Dota 2 Paris Major in his live stream, alongside a dear friend who encouraged him to do so. “I thought (shoutcasting) could only be done by Western shoutcasters through watching The International,” he recalled.
Though he naturally didn’t know what to do in his first attempt (“I hardly spoke!”) Sir_Cloud still found the endeavour interesting to the point that he practised for months - learning particularly from Tobiwan - before landing his first proper gig with Dota Underground, to whom he’ll always be grateful for.
Months went by looking for shoutcasting gigs to fill his weekend, and he eventually met other experienced shoutcasters like LinP and Adrian, who advised him to cast a variety of games to increase his odds. Sir_Cloud chose to start with PUBG Mobile, and even if he admitted that “it wasn’t my best craft, but it fueled me, even more, to discover how to be versatile in casting various esports titles.” Finally, the Kuala Lumpur native landed his breakout role with PMPL MY/SG Season 1 after an open audition and went on to cast Wild Rift esports too with ICON Series Malaysia.
Sir_Cloud’s family and friends weren’t aware of what he was doing in his early work, though that wasn’t intentional. “I'm the type that likes to do first and talk later,” he said, adding that he saw it as a serious hobby first. Once he got it up and running properly, they were supportive of his pursuits, after witnessing the fruits it bore. “I guess it helps that I did it in my 30s, so I am fully accountable for my own actions,” he said with a chuckle.
What a transformative transition it was for the Final Fantasy 7 fan, who possesses a Masters in Human Resource Management and worked a 9-to-5 corporate job within the said field for 10 years prior to this. The difference between his current and past life may seem like two worlds apart, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“You don’t need to abandon your education and work experience entering esports.” In fact, the skills Sir_Cloud acquired over the years still contribute to his esports pursuit, and he probably wouldn’t have gotten here without the experience he currently has.
For the Malaysian rock music lover (Sir_Cloud likes Pop Shuvit, Statik and more), it’s been an adventure for the past few years producing esports content. “There are definitely many ups and downs doing this, but overall, I feel good about it,” citing the opportunities he’s been given to grow, and meet and work with people he’s so accustomed to seeing on screen. “I’m grateful to be somewhat recognised in the scene.” A modest fellow who got the chance to shoutcast bonafide professional esports tournaments, in awe of the big stage and top-tier production he got to experience pre-pandemic.
However, there’s so much more to Sir_Cloud than the engaging and/or educational content he’s known for. He’s also a committee member for MESPA (Malaysian Esports Players Association), oversees his very own esports team (SC Esports), a columnist for The Vibes, as well as provides esports coaching and analysing services, especially for Malaysian PUBG Mobile teams like Damansara Flash Vision and EVOS ViP.
“I thought it (Damansara Flash Vision’s offer) was both an interesting and humongous challenge,” Sir_Cloud reminisced about his first coaching opportunity. Once the announcement was made public, he had a heartfelt moment when one of his followers told him they believed in him, even comparing him favourably to football manager José Mourinho.
“In a nutshell, my reason for building an esports career didn't start out as a ‘career’ per se,” Sir_Cloud revealed. “It was more of an interest in crafting and trying to fill a gap within the community.” In the long run, the JRPG fan even hopes to get into formal education as a professional educator on esports, because “I want to contribute and fill in the educational esports gap in Malaysia”.
Even with plenty of goals and pursuits in place, Sir_Cloud prefers keeping his options open and seeing where life takes him. “As an esports shoutcaster, I just want to exercise my craft and do better from time to time. I hope to someday inspire the newer generation down this path, perhaps even closely mentoring someone in the future.” Goes to show that as long as you make full use of the time and chances you have, you can achieve what you set out to do.
“If it’s done with passion, it’s bound to grow.”
Follow Sir_Cloud on Facebook Gaming, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok to keep in touch with him and eGG Network for more quality esports content.
The latest season of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League hasn't been too kind to Team Bosskurr. After season 6, the organization rebuilt the whole squad from the ground up. Now consisting of 2EZ4Jepv, Dragon, Flinnt, Gotenn, Myzer, Rynn and Tomen, the current team has yet to fill the shoes of their predecessors and based on season 7's results, it looks like they have a long way to go.
Since they haven't been We had a quick chat with Dragon, Bosskurr's Fighter player, to pick his brains on the team's performance.
The lineup for this season 7 is completely new and it takes time to build chemistry. Some performed very well and some did not, which made the team feel less confident.
So far the internal struggles we faced are our training schedules because some of our players are streamers and everyone is still trying to build chemistry with each other.
Because other teams have better chemistry than us.
We also studied the meta and patch but other teams might have been a step ahead of us.
No because it is not merged with another country.
We will be fixing our training schedule and changing player line ups - things that need to be done in order to improve.
For us, we think Todak will win this season’s trophy as they have many experienced players.
Good luck to all the other teams in the playoffs, do your best!
Thank you for remaining and supporting us, we’ll improve our mistakes for better results in the future.
We haven't seen the last of Team Bosskurr yet, though they won't be at the MPL-MY S7 playoffs. Hopefully, they'll be able to work out their issues and join the next season in full force. In the meantime, don't forget to tune in to the playoffs on 28-30 May on eGG Network TV or MPL Malaysia Facebook. Follow eGG Network for all the latest updates.
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