Jess Colwill, October 14, 2016

Kun Xian Ho Wants eSports Taken Seriously

In an interview with Channel News Asia, Street Fighter pro Kun Xian Ho expressed his frustration regarding esports not being taken seriously enough.

As far as Xian is concerned, he thinks what he and other professional esports athletes do is at least “equivalent to sport.”

“We are training just as much as sportspeople train,” Xian stated. “There is more strategy involved in gaming, and you also need to maintain focus and concentration. Games could even be harder than sports as you need mental fitness and hard work — with so many things to put into gaming, it should be taken more seriously.”

On the surface, the difference between playing a traditional sport and playing a video game for a living might seem vast. However, the physical requirements are high for both according to Xian.

“[Video games] require reflexes, reaction, execution, positioning, experience… you have to make the decisions very fast, you don’t have time to think and you have to do everything in a short time. Being a pro-gamer is not as easy as how people think. Fast-paced chess is how I would describe it.”

Looking to the future, Xian would like to see more support from his home government in Singapore for professional esports athletes. In particular, reimbursement to be given to award-winning players, or perhaps even exemption from Singapore’s National Service as is the case in traditional sports.

“I feel we can achieve much more because Singaporeans have to serve National Service (NS), and during that period we don’t get the chance to play much games. Yet people like ‘iceiceice’ still managed to compete at the highest level in the world.”

“When we see a talent in gaming, instead of having him go through NS maybe he can play games like how sportspeople do,” Xian suggested. “If he can go do what he’s good at, to represent the country, that’s more ideal. I hope that will happen one day.”

Jess Colwill

Jess is a writer and dog-lover from the eastern coast of Australia, who loves playing games (particularly anything by BioWare), listening to metal, baking, and fostering rescue dogs while they wait for new homes. You can find her on Twitter at @notsocryptic.