For prolific Singapore off-laner Daryl "Iceiceice" Koh, professional gaming is something he can't give up.
Having taken a short break from competitive Dota 2 at the tail-end of 2020, Iceiceice turned quite a few heads when he packed up his bags to head to the US in January to play for North American giants Evil Geniuses.
His wife and three-year-old son will be staying behind in sunny Singapore, far from the COVID-19 hotspot that is the US, while he will likely be away for months at a time.
But the veteran gamer has no regrets, telling Yahoo Esports Southeast Asia while he will miss them, he has to be focused on his career, sharing that he had made the move because he wanted to “shake things up”.
He said he would be keeping in touch with them using communication apps, such as WhatsApp, but would also be giving family reunion during the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday a miss as well.
“I'll miss my family for sure, but I've learned to not miss anything by focusing on the things at hand," said Iceiceice. "I don't think there'll be much of a difference since I'm going to focus 100 per cent on what my passion is.”
Iceiceice also added that due to the pandemic, there were many complications to bringing his family along, especially given the US’ CVOID-19 infection rates.
“If there's time for me to go home, I'll go home more often I guess, instead of going on a holiday."
That said, despite the situation in the US, Iceiceice felt that there was no need to worry.
"I doubt I'll feel safe anywhere in the world as a Singaporean, since it's (Singapore) one of the safest countries in the world, but I'm sure I'll be fine."
For now, Iceiceice said he intends to put his skills towards helping his new team take the crown in the new inaugural season of the Dota Pro Circuit 2021 for North America.
The 30-year-old has reached the pinnacle of the Dota Pro Circuit, The International, several times in the past with different teams, but has never claimed the Aegis and its top prize, something which he is surely looking to change with the move to EG.
But like any Singaporean who has lived overseas knows, there's another thing Singapore's best professional player will miss while away.
"Food probably? I'm pretty big on tasty food," said Iceiceice.
This is the second part of a three-part interview series with Daryl "Iceiceice" Koh. You can read the first part here.
Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com