MANILA: Electrical engineering PhD holder Yew Weng Kean made history as Malaysia’s first ever e-sports athlete to win a SEA Games gold medal at the Filoil Flying V Centre, San Juan, today.
E-sports is making its debut at the biennial event and the 29-year-old bagged the gold in Hearthstone – a two-player card game – by overthrowing Thailand’s Werit Popan 3-1.
In one stroke, the Heriot-Watt University assistant professor has silenced critics who say a person who spends time playing games can’t succeed in education or career.
Yew – aka wkyew90 in the world of e-sports – started the match well by winning the first game, but was beaten in the second game.
In the third game, he had to battle for more than half an hour to secure the point, before easily winning the last game to pull off the historic feat.
“This gold means a lot to me and Malaysia, because it is our first for e-sports in SEA Games history,” he said.
“E-sports is a trend and will stay regardless of what we do. Parents should look at it from a positive side, because gaming can improve your thinking, critical and strategic skills.
“These are all the necessary skills to life. But kids should have balance between gaming, healthy activities and studies.
“If you are gaming all the time without improvement in studies, you are not going very far.”
Yesterday, Malaysia won bronze in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang after losing to the hosts 2-0.
There are six gold medals at stake in e-sports through Tekken 7, Starcraft II, Hearthstone, Arena of Valor, Dota 2 and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.