Teenager goes for games designed for mobile devices

With this year's world championship taking place in Singapore, Amos Ker is determined to earn the crown on home ground.
With this year's world championship taking place in Singapore, Amos Ker is determined to earn the crown on home ground.PHOTO: COURTESY OF AMOS KER/TEAM IMPUNITY

While most competitive gamers can be found focusing intensely on a computer or TV screen, controller or joystick in hand, student Amos Ker, 17, swipes away on an iPad Pro instead.

He is one of the new breed of competitive gamers who cut his teeth on eSports not on traditional gaming consoles or computers, but on mobile games designed to be played on smartphones or tablets.

His game of choice is multiplayer online battle arena game Vainglory, where two teams of three players engage in battle with a variety of characters.

"I grew up in a large family and didn't have my own computer, so I got into Vainglory because it was more accessible," said Amos, who is better known by his in-game name Quatervois.

He first picked up the game in 2015, and played casually for one to two hours per day. Today, he is a fixture at team Impunity, which poached him from his previous team after his stellar performance.

DOING HIS BEST

When I do something, I want to do it to the best. When I started playing the game and got better, I became more interested in the competitive eSports scene, and trained until the competitive scene here took off.

AMOS KER, whose team beat the best South-east Asian side in a regional tournament in 2015.

 
 

"When I do something, I want to do it to the best," said Amos. "When I started playing the game and got better, I became more interested in the competitive eSports scene, and trained until the competitive scene here took off."

His foray into the scene came at the end of 2015, when a team he formed with his friends beat the best South-east Asian team in a regional tournament, causing an upset then.

He next joined team Infamous Legion, before moving to his current team. Amos estimates he has made $7,000 playing the game competitively in the past 1½ years.

His earnings come from cash prizes that his team earns by consistently coming in first or second place on the game's seasonal league tables, and by representing Singapore at the world championships last December in Hollywood, where the team came in the 5th-8th place bracket.

"We were caught off-guard by the skill level of the American teams," he said. "We were playing only one to two hours each day, while the other serious teams were training up to eight hours."

This year's world championship will take place in Singapore, and Amos is determined to earn that crown on home ground.

"It's a motivation for all our players, since we're all from Singapore," said Amos.

Lester Hio

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2017, with the headline 'Teenager goes for games designed for mobile devices'. Print Edition | Subscribe