The Journey: Load New Game
Gaming has become a sport that encourages players around the world to contend competitively in gaming tournaments for rewards. Competitive gaming is now better known as Esports.
Back in the day, gaming was looked down upon as a mere hobby that wouldn’t get anyone anywhere. Some parents would tell their children the same thing in the modern era. However, the market for Esports hasn’t stopped growing and gamers have even made careers out of it.
Shooting his shot in the Esports scene is one of our MSUrians, Ariff Firhad. Ariff who is a 20-year-old student pursuing his Diploma in Games Design and Animation at MSU has been quite active in the gaming realm.
Ariff states, “I had an interest in games back when I first got my Playstation 2 when I was 6 years old. That is where it all started for me. I was in the Esports briefly, but I really got into it around late 2018.”
The spark of inspiration occurred when Ariff was returning from a family dinner and he noticed a banner advertising a small gaming tournament. With the competition being so close to where he lived, he decided to participate.
“I was interested on how it would turn out. And I knew I had nothing to lose by joining. I’m glad I did, as I managed to achieve 2nd place and made good friends during the tournament,” he says.
One of Ariff’s biggest achievements in Esports was during the Malaysian Cybergames where he got to the grand finals. Ariff and his friends that he made from his first tournament decided to go for it together.
“This was my first large-scale Esports tournament. I was really lucky to have my friends to support me throughout the tournament. Within the tournament, I managed to nab 2nd place again only coming short to another player from Sarawak called Helmi. It was also then that the manager of Flash Vision at the time, Johnny Tan offered both Helmi and I spots in his professional fighting game team to which I quickly accepted.” he says.
When all was going well, there was a problem that Ariff and the entire world had to deal with, Covid-19. All tournaments were postponed, gaming hubs were closed and of course everyone had to stay at home. However, online gaming had blossomed during this time as gamers had no other choice but to go for that option.
“Although tournaments can be conducted online, the majority of the Esports scene agree that having a face-to-face tournament is better.”
Nonetheless, Ariff is still optimistic on the future of Esports.
“What excites me the most is to see how large-scale it will go to. Millions of people already watch big Esports titles like League of Legends and Valorant, which backs up the fact that the gaming industry is one of the biggest entertainment industries right now.
I hope that the competitive scene here in Malaysia can conduct more matches with teams from overseas to gain more experience. I see big potential in Malaysian gamers, but the lack of international experience has caused their growth to be stagnant. It is possible for us to be better, we just need to take our chances.”