- Final batch of gamers make it to main event, joining over 200 finalists at KDU
- HotShotz seen as creating public awareness gaming not some fad but real trend here to stay
IT wasn’t even a full house as the past four qualifiers have been, but still the intensity of the action caused a 20-min blackout at the BAC University College (BAC) campus in PJ earlier today when the final HotShotz qualifier was held!
For the first time, we had no Overwatch or Dota2 as we could not get the minimum five teams registered for the online qualifier, held on July 2, to proceed. Organisers of the eSports component of HotShotz put it down to the Hari Raya celebrations.
But that didn’t matter to the teams and individual players, numbering close to 100 in total, that made it to the BAC qualifier who were intent on making the most of their last opportunity to get to the main HotShotz event to be held on July 22-23 at the Utropolis campus of KDU University College in Glenmarie. One of them was Kenneth Lim (pic, above), who together with two other fellow Street Fighter gamers, drove up from Johor Bahru early this morning to take part in the qualifier.
In his early 30s, Lim, may not fit the stereotype of a gamer ie being in their teens to mid 20s, but he has been playing Street Fighter since his early teens. In an era, in the mid 90s when game arcades were smoke filled, dimly lit shop lots which parents frowned upon as places for young kids. “But this was why you would sneak into them back then,” he says, speaking to DNA after he was knocked out from the qualifier.
He wasn’t disappointed with the early exit, despite having made the 4.5 hours drive up from Johor Bahru. “It’s a skill based game where you have to read your opponent and react to their moves while knowing how to deliver your hits and you will have no complaints if you lose because your opponent was better than you,” he explains of the game he has enjoyed playing for almost 2 decades.
Lee actually stopped playing during his time in university and resumed when he started working and gained financial independence. “You can indulge back in a game that you enjoyed as a kid but which has become more interactive and digital based,” he says.
Lim, who goes by the gaming handle LobakMan, describes HotShotz as an exciting event to add to the gaming ecosystem in Malaysia. “I’m very happy for an event such as this because it will attract new fans over, expose current gamers to various games besides the games they play and it lets the public know that gaming is not some fad but a real trend that is here to stay.”
Having better luck than Lim was Saudi student, Malik Najjar (pic above, right) who goes by the handle Looka and who qualified from his Tekken 7 competition to make the finals at KDU on July 22-23. Having played video games since he was a kid, Tekken became his favourite game four years ago and he even aims to become a pro player.
He admits it was not a decision his parent took to kindly but he has won their support by focusing on his studies on weekdays while devoting himself to his dream on weekends when he practices Tekken. He shares that video games are very popular with youth in Saudi Arabia, more so when cinemas are banned, restricting social activities for youth. The gaming standard is high in the country he says pointing out that Saudi gamer Abdulaziz Alshehri won the 2015 Fifa Interactive World.
Describing HotShotz as an exciting event, Malik enjoyed watching some of the other players compete in their games and liked being able to meet his fellow gamers.
And for readers who wish to immerse themselves in the gaming world, and not just in eSports but in Virtual Reality, PC Modding, Cosplay, enjoy games from gaming powerhouse Sony and Codemasters and check out indie game developers, get your tickets to HotShotz from either our website or from Monday, via Lazada Malaysia, which is our eCommerce Partner.
While single day tickets are available, those who purchase the two-day ticket that comes with color lanyard will also be eligible for the lucky draw with a PS4 Pro console, three units of Predator gaming mouse, a gaming chair and some VR for mobile headsets as prizes. And you get a discount on the ticket as well!
HotShotz is supported by Main Sponsor Predator, which is Acer’s gaming brand, co-sponsors Digi, Malaysia’s leading telco, Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Sony Interactive Entertainment Hong Kong Limited Singapore Branch (SIES). KDU University College is the Venue Host, VR Lab is the VR Partner and Lazada Malaysia is the e-Commerce Partner. The media partner is Astro’s eGames channel, EGG and Indonesian media site, vivo.co.id.
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