Tidus Goh may have only started playing games competitively since 2017, but he’s already made history with his team in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Also known by his handle StyroN, Goh and his Vindicta team beat B.O.O.T-dream[S]cape at the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) Singapore qualifiers in September, something which had not been done by another Singapore team in a few years.
It was a proud moment for Goh, who lists dream[S]cape’s captain as one of his eSports idols, and was even invited to be a stand-in for the team at a prior tournament.
Yahoo Singapore sat down with Goh ahead of Vindicta’s participation in the WESG Southeast Asia Finals this weekend.
What got you into eSports?
I started with Dota since I was young, like primary 3 or 4. I wanted to play competitively because of the saying: Do what you love, and you don’t have to work a single day. So I had tried Dota but could not find the edge. However, I found CS and start to rank up very quickly with schoolmates. I could only start to get involved fully right after the national exam and N levels, which was at the beginning of 2017.
What is your most memorable eSports moment to date?
It would be the WESG win at the qualifier. It was that tournament which I had given my all with the team. We had the most time (term break) that we put in the effort and the result paid off. It felt really good and we managed to be the best, locally at least. That showed us that we have potential. I was not able to commit my 100 per cent to my prior tournament, but at WESG I was, and got the result.
Who are the people in the eSports industry you look up to?
Locally, I would look up to Anthony “ImpressioN” Lim, Captain of DreamScape. He has shown us that with hard work and passion he has gone so far. He left his studies after his secondary school and enlisted early. After this, he came out and give his all in CS, and look at his achievement, with dream[S]cape as one of the top 10 teams in Asia now. I appreciate what he has done for the Singapore scene as he brought a Singapore team into the rankings of Asia.
Internationally, I would look up to the old-timers like NIP – Ninja In Pyjamas. Those players showed us that age is not a deterrent as they are still competing at the highest level even after 10 years. It gives me the drive that if I do this right, I could do it for a long time as well.
What do your friends and family feel about your involvement in eSports?
As I was starting out, I just promised my mother that I will give her what she wants and in return, she will give him the freedom. I did well in the N-levels, and she trusted me in spending time where I want to.
After I started to get results in competitions, like tournament wins and stuff, she became more open-minded and supported me more, like if more time I needed for training, I could not go for some family commitment and stuff.
My family is supportive. For WESG, it was streamed, so I told them that they could watch it online. They cast it on the TV and watch it together.
For my friends, they feel like I’m some personality, but I do not see myself that highly yet. My friends are saying ‘In 10 years time, don’t forget me’.
In their view, they know that eSport will go far, and they see us as pioneers in this area.
How to you view the eSports scene at the moment?
In Singapore, it’s been better than the past few years, organisations are coming into eSports scene. It’s still a very enclosed community of organisation, and their requirements for the basic things that we need are still very high, such as sponsors and allowance. Their requirements are like, be the best locally, that’s probably what they are looking at. dream[S]cape achieved that. For CS, it’s very difficult, so locally it’s still quite negative.
If you had one wish for the eSports scene, what would that be?
First, we definitely need more sponsors, and second, it’s sought of like approval. As gamers, if people ask us what we do, we say we play games then we have to explain ourselves.
If you are playing soccer, and you’re representing the Singapore team, you’re playing soccer professionally, which they understand.
But if we say we are playing games professionally, ‘Huh, what is that?’ is the response from the general public. We have to explain ourselves, get more exposure and more public awareness on eSports, and making the public understand where we are coming from. It will eventually lead to sponsorships as more people understand.
How would you get more people to be interested in eSports?
I think the first thing we need to do as eSport players, we have to change the mindset of people. They always have the mindset that playing games is negative, and playing games promotes violence, playing games will make you unhealthy. We have to change the mindset of people to be more approving of games in general first.
What makes eSports special to you?
As the “e” in eSport stands for electronics and computers, in this current generation, computers are already a big part of our lives. Twenty years down the road, eSports will be even bigger than traditional sports. That’s why I think it’s important to me to make it or succeed in our current endeavour.
What advice for newcomers to the eSports scene do you have?
If you have the passion for it, then the other things you have to look out for are being able to manage your time, being able to put in the hard work that people can’t see, and you must be resilient. If you fall, you have to get back up. Failure is part of success. I think the biggest problem for our local players is that, if they do lose two to three tournaments, they might just give up.
They might just tell themselves that they don’t have the talent for it. All my other teammates definitely lose games, but we all had to start somewhere. It’s the grit that we have and the hard work that we put in that brought us to where we are now.
Kenny Lim was a mentee from the eSports Journalism course run in partnership by Yahoo Singapore and SCOGA, and now writes as a contributor for eSports in Southeast Asia.