Today, we have a special guest for you. Someone who has made the extra effort to make known eSports in Malaysia. He has brought his knowledge of eSports and made it happen in our land of Malaysia, to make it as big as it is right now. It is none other than MasterRamen, also known as Firdaus Hashim. It is thanks to him that we get support from the government and the birth of our Asian eSports organization. Currently as the Vice President of Mineski Events Team Malaysia, he is also the founder of Esukan Page.
So if you want to know more about him, here’s our interview with MasterRamen below:
Q. Since when did MasterRamen begin venturing into the world of gaming and the eSports industry?
A. I first gotten myself involved in the world of gaming since I was very young. Back then, I used to play games during my free time. Once Dota2 was launched, I started to get myself into the eSports industry. Started from lowyat.net forums and now with MET.
Q. How is the eSports growth in Malaysia so far?
A. Malaysian eSports has been growing tremendously. In the past 5 years, we have never imagined eSports would be aired live on our television. The prize pool was frowned upon by non-gamers. But now with the help from the government and other private eSports organization, it has become a new phenomenon amongst the youngsters. Many tournaments were happening every week in every eSports genre. From small tournaments to big ones. From University level up to International level.
Q. Tell us a little bit about MasterRamen’s journey to bring up the eSports scene in Malaysia.
A. At first, I was active in the eSports arena in the Southeast Asia region. However, as I looked back in Malaysia, there were no active organization or communities that focuses in growing the eSports scene locally. That is why I have created an eSports community in Malaysia and gave focus in many local events to open the community’s eyes about eSports in Malaysia. The hardwork has paid off when many local events were organized and attracted the government sector which gave existence to the Selangor Cyber Games and Malaysia Cyber games. Other than that, I have also gave my advises to many other organizations and individuals who are interested in growing the eSports scene.
Q. What is MasterRamen’s perspective towards some event organizers who failed to pay their workers and contestants? Is there any way to overcome such issues?
A. Organizations that organized the eSports event and did not pay after the event are a thorn in the eSports industry. They have spoilt the efforts of other organizations that are working hard to grow the eSports scene in Malaysia. The victims are the young ones who look forward in high spirits in the eSports scene. We have to take action against them so that such an issue will not repeat itself.
Q. In MasterRamen’s perspective, what actions should the community/brand take to show their support on eSports and what are the challenges that they will face?
A. eSports activities stems from video games. However video games have always been frowned upon by society. This is the biggest challenge in the world of eSports. The community/brand have to present the positives of eSports and promote in a healthy way. We have to promote a healthy eSports culture so that it will not be seen negatively by society.
Q. What are the responsibilities of a streamer or an influencer to help promote eSports?
A. The streamer and influencer phenomenon is growing exponentially at this moment. There are more and more youngsters who love to watch streamers playing games. Their main responsibility is to show a healthy culture, instead of smoking or vaping while gaming live. Also, never curse and present an unhealthy culture during live. This is important to elevate the eSports façade as we do not what society to see that the world of eSports is unhealthy and will destroy the youth’s lifestyle. Same goes to influencers as well. Never show too much skin when endorsing as an influencer. We have to remember that there are plenty of youngsters in the world of eSports who are still innocent and should be shown as a good example by their idols.
Q. In average, how much does a shoutcaster or a pro player make? Is there any sustainable wager for them?
A. Currently, the wages for a shoutcaster is not stable yet. They are still reliant on organizations and events. Though there are events, there’s still no minimum wage which is dependent on the level of event which is from RM 300 to RM 1,000 per day in Malaysia. Pro players are also dependent on the level of tournaments. On an international level, they can earn up to RM 8,000 per month excluding their winnings. While there are some who earn more than RM 20,000 per month. However, for players in the local or SEA level, their wages are below RM 3,000 and some have no pay at all.
Q. What are MasterRamen’s sweetest and bitter memories over the course of raising the eSports awareness?
A. The sweetest memory for me was when I got to travel out of country for the cause of eSports. I was able to visit many different countries like America, France and others. The bitter memory was when Arrow Gaming, my previous team as manager, was involved in a scandal for fixing games which became the topic of many during the event.
Q. Will becoming part of a professional eSports team be a sustainable career (coach, pro player, manager)?
A. At this moment, it is still not stable yet unless you have been part of a team that has succeeded on an international level. In Malaysia, we can even count on our fingers the number of teams that gained financial support to fully pay the players. However, I believe in the future, we will have more chances arising and a career as a player or a coach can be stable enough to be a career option.
Q. Any advises or words MasterRamen would like to convey to the community who’d like to venture themselves into the eSports industry?
A. Do not give up easily. Continue to work hard and always improve yourself. Never forget where you come from and lessen the negative culture of the industry.
Thank you MasterRamen for your sharing in the interview. We hope that the eSports scene in Malaysia will continue to grow and be well known in every corner of the world!
For those who’d like to catch him on social media, visit his official Facebook profile!