For those in the know, this might be history in the making.
After all, competitive gaming has been looked down and players denied opportunities.
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Esports isn’t just about leisurely playing games.
In 2014 a player Galvin Kang “Meracle” was denied permission to compete in an SG$387,896 tournament.
That’s one of the most talked-about denials, and definitely not the only one.
Players have often talked about the struggles of competitive gaming, but let’s talk about what’s possible in spite of. Dary Koh or “iceiceice” earned a whopping $1,417,071.76—the highest of any Singaporean competitive gamer.
So for this article’s gamer who got granted the opportunity to compete, it sets the pace for progress.
Figo “Azalea” Chua granted deferment to play in Overwatch World Cup
On 2 Aug 2019, Figo “Azalea” Chua successfully got a deferment for his upcoming National Service and was able to finally play for his team.
Overwatch is a 6 versus 6 multiplayer first-person shooter. Think like counter strike, but there are different characters with different abilities to choose from.
But of course, having seen the money I posted, here’s the first thing you want to ask: how much?
2019’s prize pool is not officially out yet, but the Overwatch World Cup 2018 has a prize pool of S$488,000… USD. Gives you an idea of what is at stake.
Azalea was almost replaced
On 30 July, this following team was announced to compete in the tournament:
Which Azalea isn’t a part of. But, it wasn’t a team fall out or anything.
Azalea was the team’s first choice for the Damage role, but as his enlistment was on 14 Aug 2019, they replaced him with Akame. You can read the full post here, but this is what happened:
Azalea would concurrently apply to CMPB for a deferment with an official endorsement letter from the team and tournament organiser Blizzard. If Azalea doesn’t get the deferment, Akame would stay on the team.
This is a mutual agreement between Azalea, Akame, and the team, so no bad blood here.
But, the last time a deferment was granted was back in 2005, when Stanley Aw got permission to compete at the World Cyber Games in Singapore.
So, to be safe, Akame was the official player since it was super unlikely that Azalea will get the deferment.
We lose our shit when payment for IPPT is delayed, and that’s only a few hundred dollars.
Makes sense to be even more nervous when it’s tens of thousands of dollars on the line right?
But Azalea got the deferment
Turns out, dreams do pay off. CMPB did the thing nobody expected and granted him the deferment. On 4 Aug 2019 Overwatch Singapore then officially changed the roster from Akame to Azalea.
So as they say, don’t let your dreams be memes.
Go do us proud, Team Singapore.
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