When we think about E-sports in Malaysia, we think that “oh we’re not that good internationally”, but that’s where you’d be wrong. Over the past few years, Malaysia’s E-sports scene has not only been growing in terms of production, quality, prize pool and recognition. But along the way Malaysia has forged many legends too. Today’s piece will mainly focus on some of the key players in Malaysia, but it is important not to forget those who contributed behind the scenes as well, so here’s to you all for keeping the Malaysia E-sports scene alive!
1) Jian Wei “xNova” Yap
Source : Redbull
While he has gone relatively unknown to Malaysians until recently when his team PSD.LGD managed to secure a second place finish at the world’s highest paying E-sport, The International 8. Now while that is an achievement in itself, people might not know that xNova came from a Malaysian team back in the day and climbed the ladder all the way to the tippy-top of Dota 2. His career started back in 2015 when he joined Who2Bet at the start of that year, after some successes in the local scene he moved up the ladder and joined Mineski-X in 2016 but after a short stint with that team, he then moved over to WarriorsGaming.Unity which is highly regarded as the first Malaysian team since Orange e-Sports to be a contender against other international teams. He left WG.Unity at the beginning on 2018 to join up with LGD, an international Chinese team that has been a powerhouse ever since it was founded. With the addition of xNova, the team quickly found success within a year, placing 1st for 2 premier events, 3rd place for another and finally securing 2nd place at TI8, cementing himself as one of few Malaysian legends. Maybe that Malaysian flair was all they needed?
2)Tue “ah fu” Soon Chuan
Source : Redbull
Who can forget the INSANE play made by ah fu when he stole the aegis from Virtus.Pro which was just beautiful to watch, can you imagine playing on the main stage with millions of people watching, preparing for that one crucial moment and pulling it off? Not every one can do that, but ah fu certainly can. A little fun fact: ah fu and xNova were from the same team called WarriorsGaming.Unity back in 2016, being regarded as one of the better support players, ah fu quickly made a name for himself within the SEA community, winning 1st place during 2 minor events and placing between 5-8th place as they were unfortunately knocked out during the Quarter-finals by eventual winners OG. But the real magic started when he joined LFY in 2017 and blazed a trail towards the International 7, During TI7 ah fu was known for his insane Earth Spirit plays that was so highly respected, it would almost always result in a respect ban from the enemy team. As giving ah fu earth spirit would be giving your enemy a gun. With his beautiful plays and his reputation for being a great support player, the legend continues for ah fu.
3) Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng
Source : Gamehub
We’ve all been there, starting from the bottom and young thinking we could be something greater, thinking we could play on the mainstage of the International, but not many of us could say that we’ve actually done it. MidOne’s journey started at the age of 13 when he joined small local competitions in the hope of gaining experience as a player while being #onthegrind for that MMR. Back when MMR was still a thing (that’s right, I’m old) not only was MidOne is the professional Dota scene from getting picked up by Fnatic back in 2016 and later moving on to Team Secret in 2017 but the whole time, he was grinding and getting better. And it certainly become clear as he made history when he became the first player in South East Asia to hit 8000k MMR. But not wanting to stop there, he also became the first South East Asian player to hit 9000k MMR. Do you see a trend here? Because we sure do! And Sure enough, MidOne was also the first player to reach 10,000K MMR on South East Asian servers, and all of this while playing professional Dota 2 with the ability to WIN tournaments mind you, as he placed 1st place for 2 Majors and placed 5-6th place in the International 2018 this year with Team Secret. That’s got to be an achievement in my book.
4) Wong “ChuaN” Hock Chuan
A true legend, ChuaN is the ONLY Malaysian in this list to actually WIN the International and lift the aegis live on stage. Although it happened back in 2012, none can deny the legitimacy of the event nor can they disregard his ability as a Support/Captain. Earning multiple first places throughout his career, ChuaN quickly made a name for himself in China, and moved there to play with his eventual International Winning team, Invictus Gaming. Although having left the professional scene for a little while after 2012, ChuaN came back to play from 2013 onward, earning 3 first place titles and eventually finishing 7-8th place during the international 2014. But when everyone said that ChuaN was “Washed Up” he proved them wrong in 2015 by winning another 1st place title under his belt at the Major All Stars Dota 2 Tournament with Invictus Gaming. He later joined up and coming team Newbee with major success as 3 podium finishes in 2016 with a 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place finish throughout the same year at different Dota 2 events in my eyes is a massive achievement. His run would eventually end after The International 2016 as the Newbee ended 2016 between 9th-12th place. ChuaN then decided to take a few months away from competitive Dota, he would eventually join up with multiple teams and is currently with Echo International. Whichever teams he decides to join with will definitely have an advantage of having a former International Champion in their ranks.
5) Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung
Source : Redbull
The Man, The Myth, The Legend. Mushi’s run has been an interesting one filled with highs and lows, internet fame and even cultivating E-Sports culture in Malaysia. Mushi started playing professional Dota when he first played for Orange back in 2011 and stuck with the team with notable success with multiple podium finishes and even going home with a few titles. In 2013, Mushi had a falling out with another famous player at the time, YamateH ( Notable mention ) and YamateH eventually left the squad with 2 other players leaving Mushi to fill in the gap with other respectable players . After winning 4th place at the International 2013, Mushi packed his bags and moved to China to play with DK gaming with major success as he had 2 first place premier event titles under his belt in just 1 year. Eventually leaving DK to start a team called Team Malaysia, Mushi once again proved himself that he is one of if not the best Dota 2 Player in the South East Asia region. In the year 2015, he would later be picked up by international organization Fnactic. He would remain in Fnatic and become the face of Fnatic for the next few years, eventually moving on to Mineski and is currently playing on the main roster. Mushi has always been known for wanting to cultivate the Malaysian E-sports scene in his first interviews and has definitely achieved that noble goal. F Y I, did I mention hes an international meme? (Might need to censor the word as it might be considered offensive).