Esports has been one of the biggest growing things in the online world right now as even gamers are referred as “athletes”. I don’t find the term wrong cause as someone who played competitive golf and also currently playing competitive Esports, they both give you an equal amount of mental stress that you’ll go through when competing with physical sports.
In Malaysia, we are home to one of many teams who represent us in the biggest mobile gaming tournaments in the world which is the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) World Championship.
As we get on, here is of the members of Todak Esports as shares his thoughts. Meet Ashi or as his real name, Mohd Syazlan Mohd Rosdi.
He had shared with the Malay Mail about the stigmas and challenges amongst professionals’ gamers, especially in Malaysia. This ranges from cyberbullying, misconceptions from the public and also commitments and managing youths.
All Esports players know this and the public should too, cyberbullying is nothing new to the Esports industry and there’s no actual way of stopping it. In fact, it is in every gaming no matter if competitive or casual play.
Syazlan shares that when he first started streaming for Todak, he was often cyberbullied over anything from his gameplay to his physical appearance.
“Cyberbullying is a common thing in eSports because we can’t control what others are going to say.
“During my time as a streamer, I’ve received much abuse online, even when I did nothing wrong.
“They would harass me based on my physical appearance as I’m skinny, so they would call me a drug addict… but I’m used to all that already,” Syazlan said.
Despite all the abuse he’s received online, he had endured it by keeping hold of his fathers advice.
“I usually follow advice from older people.
“One of the strongest pieces of advice that I’ve got was from my own father who said, ‘as long as the person is not putting food on our table, there’s no need for us to care about them’.
“It may sound a bit harsh, but I’ve come to learn the deeper meaning of his words,” Syazlan said.
Image via Soya Sincau
Todak’s MLBB Esports team (from left Xray, Ciku, Eone, Moon, Stoo and 4Meyz)
It was pointed out that commitment plays a huge role in becoming a professional gamer. Before Todak, Syazlan shares that the cost of joining a tournament is often higher than any potential returns. (I know the feel bro, it’s always like this and even my friends in the Malaysian Esports Federation [MESF] is aware of this)
“It was hard during that time as everything was coming out of our own pockets”.
“Especially when our teammates are living apart from each other, we have no other choice but to travel back and forth for our daily trainings.”
Syazlan shares that he used to commute between his home in Sungai Buloh to Seri Kembangan where his teammates were. Some would ask, why meet physically when games can be played online? Syazlan also mentions that in-person training is a more reliable method to develop chemistry among players as they need to understand each other’s gameplay.
In the initial stage of his career, Syazlan joined Todak as a streamer for the team in 2018. For those who don’t know what a streamer is, they live stream their games online via Twitch or Facebook.
He had later then taken up the challenge to become the MLBB Esports team manager and said that the biggest challenge is to shape the manners of the younger generation of local professional gamers.
Like the real working world, even gamers have their objectives along with the do’s and don’ts.
“Most of the gamers nowadays are young and sometimes it’s a bit challenging as they tend to follow their emotions in making decisions.
“I’m not talking about their gameplay as they are crushing it, but I’m talking about building their characters and that has proven to be very challenging.
“We want to produce players who not only excel at gaming but are also smart in life, so that they can be a good role model for others and also for parents to see that there’s a future here in the gaming industry,” he said.
In typical fashion, everyone thinks that professional gaming is depicted as an easy career since all they need to do is play games all day.
Syazlan argues on that statement as each Esports organization or team have their own objectives. People don’t often see the challenges behind this as all they are focused on is playing the game.
“Take Todak for example, we have our own objective which is to be a champion not just in Malaysia but in the whole world”.
“So, the training is longer, sometimes we even have to spend up to 12 hours a day just to train”.
“It may sound easy, but it is very tiring, it’s mental fatigue apart from sacrificing time with their family just to train,” Syazlan said.
The Todak MLBB Esports team, (from top left) Ciku, Eone, Ashi, 4Meyz, Manity and Stoo. From bottom left, Xray and Moon.
— Picture courtesy of Mohd Syazlan Mohd Rosdi
In 2019, Todak managed a 3rd place finish at the MLBB M1 World Championship, which was held in Malaysia at the Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur.
They are currently participating in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) M2 World Championship which is currently taking place in Singapore from January 18 to 24 2021.
We wish them all the best for the championship, make Malaysia proud!