Singapore's Counter-Strike team gets second shot at World Championships

The Counter-Strike team representing Singapore in The World Championships, comprising of (from left) Chew "Vulmest" Mun Kei, Anthony "ImpressioN" Lim, Nigel "spielz" Aw, Nigel "Niqo" Goh and Benjamin "moxie" Kou.
The Counter-Strike team representing Singapore in The World Championships, comprising of (from left) Chew "Vulmest" Mun Kei, Anthony "ImpressioN" Lim, Nigel "spielz" Aw, Nigel "Niqo" Goh and Benjamin "moxie" Kou. PHOTO: EUGENE TAY

A team of Singaporean Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) players have been given a second chance to compete in the global finals of The World Championships, which will be held in Serbia from Oct 8 to 11.

The local five-man squad was thrown a lifeline when the Vietnamese team that topped the group stage during the Asia qualifiers had to withdraw from the competition due to visa issues.

Their spot was given to the second-place Singapore team instead.

It comprises captain Anthony "ImpressioN" Lim , 19 and players Nigel "Niqo" Goh, 18, Nigel "spielz" Aw, 19, Chew "Vulmest" Mun Kei , 19 and Benjamin "moxie" Kou , 23,

The five players on the national squad are from three separate local teams, namely No Use Talking, Bovines and Verus Dominatus.

They were informed of the news only a week ago, which gave them very little time to prepare for the competition.

Despite the last-minute replacement, team manager Eugene "quikz" Tay, 31, told The Straits Times that they jumped at the chance to take part.

"We definitely didn't want to pass up a golden opportunity to represent the nation, and show the world what Singaporean gamers can achieve in eSports," he noted.

CS:GO is a fast-paced first-person shooter, where teams of five compete against each other to achieve objectives.

The World Championships is a tournament organised by online gaming portal E-Frag, and brings together national teams from 79 countries to duke it out for a prize pool of over US$100,000 (S$141,000).

Of the 16 teams in the global finals, 10 are from Europe, three are from Asia, two are from North America, while the last team is from Africa. The other two Asian teams are from Kyrgyzstan and Indonesia.

Mr Tay said that ever since the team got the news, they have been training hard whenever their schedules allow.

"Realistically speaking, given the time constraints, we are definitely at a disadvantage, and we have to find ways to win," he said.

"Nevertheless, I am cautiously optimistic, and I have faith that my players will rise to the occasion. We are definitely aiming for first place so that we can make Singapore proud."

lting@sph.com.sg