Leading a new team and taking the top spot at MPL SG is no easy task, but this isn't Robert "Oh Deer Bambi" Boon's first rodeo.
His new team, Kingsmen, currently sit at the top of the table ahead of Bambi's former team, EVOS SG. This means Kingsmen go into the upcoming playoffs as the top seed in the upper bracket to face off against Almighty.
It’s been an interesting time for 24-year-old Oh Deer Bambi, who serves as captain for the squad. The first Singapore-only Mobile Legends Professional League marks his return to the competitive scene, after having taken a break for S6. He had mutually parted ways with EVOS SG after S5, and joined Emerge Esports' Kingsmen MLBB team.
"It was a mutual decision between both parties, they felt they had a better line-up without me, and I wanted to explore other teams outside of Singapore," said Bambi. "I did try to take part in season 6, but I fell short."
Oh Deer Bambi does admit though, the break had been great for him, as the last year he spent at EVOS was really tiring, calling his time off a" well and needed break".
The final-year pharmaceutical science NUS student is now in great form in the jungle role, racking the highest kills per game, and the second highest GPM in the league.
He aims to win the inaugural MPL SG championship with his team, and it looks like Kingsmen are on track.
While juggling his exams and his competitive career is no easy feat, Bambi said his professors have been very understanding, allowing him to reschedule them when needed, especially when he had to compete at the SEA Games.
This is in stark contrast to the early days of esports, where players such as Benedict "hyhy" Lim had to retake a year due to competing at international tournaments.
“NUS has done a really good job in helping me make sure I can compete, and at the same time, do well in my studies. I've had really nice professors. For some weird reason, my competitions always fall on my exam dates, but they have been very understanding to shift the dates whenever needed,” said Bambi.
"It's interesting to see how universities and schools are more accepting of esports and have been recognising esports."
Funnily enough, Oh Deer Bambi had wanted to study medicine growing up, but decided on his current degree instead as his results weren't good enough.
Having discovered competitive gaming, though, the Kingsmen jungler is committed to focusing on his esports career.
While there’s probably no link to esports at the moment, Oh Deer Bambi joked that his pharmaceutical degree will be of use in the future for esports, though he was not sure how at the moment.
"I'll decide what I want to do after graduating, but I'll definitely continue to be in the esports industry, whether as a player or a coach, or even working on the backend. I definitely want to promote the esports industry in Singapore and see it grow," he said.
With EVOS SG just right behind Kingsmen in the standings, both teams will likely meet in the semi-finals if they win their first upper bracket matches.
Going up against his old team may be an advantage, given that Oh Deer Bambi was with EVOS from 2018 to 2020 and had won multiple trophies with them.
“My experience with EVOS has helped me, I've played with three of their current players, and I know their playstyle. I also took a one season break, so I have more information on them then they have on me,” he said.
As captain, Oh Deer Bambi isn't feeling the heat just yet, saying that he's used to the pressure from his years captaining EVOS.
He also admitted that he's grown stronger mentally as well. It will be interesting to see if Kingsmen can continue on their winning ways through the playoffs and become the inaugural MPL SG champion.
"I love the thrill of competing and it feels really good. The feeling of winning is just indescribable and I'm looking forward to feeling that again."
The MPL SG Playoffs will take place on May 7-9, and the winners will advance to the regional tournaments to play off against the best teams from the other regions.
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