SINGAPORE - A team of five from Singapore defeated top video gaming teams from around Asia to come in first at the Heroes Of The Storm South-east Asia Championship.
The local team Relics bagged the grand prize money of US$20,000 (S$28,000) after beating rivals from countries such as the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia on Aug 8 in Bangkok, Thailand. It will also represent South-east Asia in the Americas Championship, which will be held on Sept 19 and 20 in Las Vegas.
"This is the best gift we can give to Singapore on #SG50. We've done it guys, South-East Asia Champions! #HeroesOfTheStorm," posted Relics captain Marcus "Revenant" Tan, 23, on Instagram after their victory.
Heroes Of The Storm is a five-versus-five multiplayer online battle arena game which was officially released by Blizzard Entertainment in June this year.
The other members of the team are Michael "Mirr" Luo, 26, Kenny "Trinity" Widjaja, 24, Bjorn "Zeys" Ong, 21, and Kevin "Relyzer" Tan, 20.
Although Relics is only four months old, its members are no newbies to the competitive gaming scene.
"We know each other because we're all top-tier has-beens from other games, thus the name 'Relics'," said Mr Tan, jokingly. He used to be a competitive Warcraft 3 and StarCraft 2 player.
Mr Widjaja used to play Heroes Of Newerth, while Mr Luo used to play Dota 2, all at a professional level.
The team brought their experience to bear on the grand finals of the competition, which was against team Bibingka from the Philippines.
After they lost the first of three matches, they had to get their heads back in the game.
"After we lost against Bibingka, we had to refresh our mentality. We told ourselves that if we played to the best of our abilities, we would be able to secure the win," Mr Tan told The Straits Times.
Fortunately, they were able to take the next two games, winning the series 2-1.
As the newly-crowned South-east Asia champions, the lads are busy preparing for the next stage of the Championship, which will take place next month against seven other top teams.
"We're preparing for the tournament by analysing our opponents' playstyles and focusing on thoroughly studying their drafts," said Mr Tan.
"We feel that there is a chance that we may be able to get into the top two if we try hard enough. It's a fresh game, and the ball is in anyone's court to pull off something astonishing."