Macau eSports unleashes rising stars

Written by Ben Blaschke

This article first appeared in the May 2017 issue of WGM.

With eSports set to be added as a medal event for the first time at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, Macau’s best young players are starting to make their presence felt with some impressive recent results.

Macau’s standing as a valuable new member of the global eSports community continues to grow with the city’s best up and coming players taking part and exceeding in a series of international events in April.

The first of these saw an 11 versus 11 match-up between Macau and Taiwan. Macau’s team based themselves at the impressive G4 eSports Stadium near Iao Hon market while Taiwan gathered together at their own eSports home for a highly competitive online battle.

The Macau team included players HugoMachine, LouisLei, Macau666, MomoFighter, MacauDealer, bkwaison, Karson, JumpToFuture and of course Kakaka, who represented Macau in Hearthstone at last year’s IeSF World Championships in Jakarta.

In the end Taiwan prevailed 11-7 but the event is expected to kick-start more regular international battles with Macau eying matchups against the likes of Japan and South Korea.

A week later, two Macau players – Driver and HugoMachine – took part in a friendly invitational organized by Hong Kong-based online channel HK9uppercut. The event saw Japanese player Itazan – who is ranked 13th in the world playing as the Street Fighter character Zangief – taking on the best Street Fighter V (SFV) players from Hong Kong and Macau.

Impressively, the only player to beat Itazan in a fight was Macau’s very own Driver – a tremendous motivator for other players from the region.

According to Chairman of Macau eSports promotor Grow uP eSports, Frederico Alexandre dos Santos Rosario, local players are proving particularly adept at fighting games such as SFV.

“SFV requires a different skill set than other popular eSports titles,” he told WGM. “Most of our team members have experienced arcade lifestyle and culture, played the King of Fighters series, Street Fighter series, maybe Tekken and many other games.

“Most of us are able to adapt to new fighting game titles due to our experience with fighting games, joysticks and gamepads. But to perform like some of our members are now, gamers say it requires high agility, experience and perhaps a sixth sense!”

However, Macau’s most impressive result came in an online tournament organized by online channel PETV with Nikusan claiming the title against a number of professional players from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

“This is a huge achievement for the Macau eSports and SFV community,” said Frederico. “Nobody actually thought that Macau could ever perform but we did!”