HK gains far more than a medal for esports

By Oasis Hu in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2023-10-23 07:33
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The Hong Kong team competes in the final of the esports event Dream Three Kingdoms 2. ANDY CHONG/CHINA DAILY

Winning silver at Asian Games boosts industry's development, promotes better understanding

When Jazkit Chan Cheuk-kit was 5, he developed a love for game machines in a stationery shop near his home in Hong Kong.

Three decades later, his passion for games resulted in him standing on the podium to represent Hong Kong at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, basking in cheers and applause from thousands of spectators as he proudly wore a silver medal around his neck.

Chan and his four teammates won the medal on Sept 30 in the final of the esports event Dream Three Kingdoms 2.

Esports made its debut as a demonstration event at the Asian Games in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, in 2018. This year, esports was elevated to the official competition program, and featured seven events, including Dream Three Kingdoms 2. Chan and his team etched their names in history by securing Hong Kong's first official esports medal at the Games.

The team members said the medal symbolizes their enduring passion for games over the years, coupled with the relentless training they underwent for six months.

Securing victory calls for dedication, perseverance and hard work, but these qualities demand particular emphasis in esports. The medal won by Hong Kong has a deeper significance, as it can help dispel misconceptions about esports, the team members said, adding that their success can foster the growth of the city's entire esports system.

Chan, who turns 34 next month, started by playing arcade games, before his interests widened to include single-player computer games and online games for a number of players. His favorite is League of Legends, or LoL, a popular multiplayer online battle arena game, where two teams of five compete to destroy each other's fortress to secure victory.

As his love for games grew, Chan ventured into the world of esports. He used to be a professional player, before becoming a coach and manager for an esports club.

When he learned that esports would be included as an official competition at the Asian Games, he had no hesitation in deciding to take part.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I couldn't miss," he said.

Although LoL was chosen as an event for the Asian Games, it already had a large number of full-time professional players. Chan then turned his attention to Dream Three Kingdoms 2.

Developed by a Chinese company in Hangzhou, Dream Three Kingdoms 2 is an online battle game that draws inspiration from the Three Kingdoms era in ancient China. It shares some similarities with LoL, where players form a team of five to bring down the opposing team's fortress to achieve victory.

Although Chan had never played the game before, he insisted on joining in, driven by his childhood dream of taking part in major sports competitions.

He first contacted skilled players who had achieved good results in esports competitions in Hong Kong, along with teammates he had played with in the past. He asked them if they were willing to train carefully, retaining those who said they were.

In May, Chan formed a team comprising Martin Yau Man-tin, Roy Yip Ho-lam, Tinky Yuen Pak-lam, Law Hing-lung and himself.

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