Demand for services up, says coach of S’pore’s young e-sport champ
E-sports are gaining popularity in Singapore, and with seven-year-old Simone Lim's win at the Pokemon Oceania International Championships Junior Division in Melbourne last month, the demand for coaches is also rising.
E-sport coach Melvin Keh told The New Paper that requests for his services has grown after Simone's win.
The 26-year-old Pokemon player who is also a competitive gamer began coaching Simone in June last year every week for two hours. He is now preparing Singapore's youngest e-sport champion for the world championships in August.
Competitive Pokemon sees two players face off with squads of six Pokemon each. The goal is to defeat all of the opponent's creatures.
Mr Keh teaches his students to master a team with flow charts. They take notes and ask questions before battling on a Nintendo Switch.
Simone's father, Mr Ernie Lim, an IT consultant, told TNP he introduced gaming to Simone and his sons Theodore, 13, and Alvin, 10, to instil a hunger for winning.
Mr Lim, 45, said: "These games require strategic thinking..."
He added that his children's passion for gaming can bring discipline to their school work, as they know they will lose the privilege of playing if they do poorly in studies.
Mr Lim said engaging an e-sport coach is similar to the tuition teachers his children have for academics.
He said: "I also engage a swim coach for my children; they have tuition teachers for their academics, and a coach for weiqi.
"A coach is required if we as parents do not understand the game but want to support them in their endeavours and also to fine-tune their techniques."
Mr Lim intends for Simone to continue attending international Pokemon events so that she can catch up with friends she has met outside of school.
Mr Keh said video game training is not that different from physical training, and his diploma in sport and wellness management helped him prepare psychologically and physically for long-hour contests.
Despite the growing interest in e-sports and the possibility of making a full-time career out of it, it is not part of Mr Keh's plan yet.
He told TNP that while his parents support him and tune in to his live-streamed matches, they would prefer he move on from gaming.
He said: "I have considered quitting, but (the number of) players are on the rise and the potential for growth is there. So I am excited to see where it goes."