Too young to compete, too young to stop gaming
The two young gamers had helped their team, Rigel, to victory in The Legends Circuit (TLC) Winter Singapore, a competition for the multiplayer online game League of Legends.
The win in the competition held in December last year meant Rigel would represent Singapore in the Garena Premier League (GPL) Spring 2016, a competition for teams in South-east Asia.
Despite being key members of the team, Kenneth Goh, 15, and Timothy Lim, 16, could not compete in the GPL held in Kuala Lumpur last month because of their age.
The competition, where six top teams across South-east Asia played against each other, has a minimum age requirement of 17.
Rigel, initially known as Corvus, was formed early last year and won several competitions in Singapore such as the Garena Novice Cup and Sitex 2015.
Kenneth, who was said to be the "best player at the foot of this circuit's league" and Timothy, who makes outstanding plays, had to be replaced by members from a rival team from Singapore.
They were upset that they could not take part with their other three team mates, after fighting so hard for a spot in the GPL.
Kenneth said: "I felt really depressed because I wasn't able to show how good I am on stage. I cried in my room.
"Because I'm still very young, there was no choice. I had to let other people replace me."
The GPL is a stepping stone for teams wanting to compete in international competitions, with the pinnacle being the World Championships.
Rigel, without their two teenage players, finished fifth at the GPL held in KL. Both youngsters felt the team could have done better if they had been in the team.
Competing against veteran players who had more experience in TLC, Rigel, though, was not expecting to win anyway.
Rigel's leader, Mr Poongundran Ranganathan, 22, said: "Their absence definitely affected the team's performance in GPL and it was difficult playing with two new players."
But the two teens know they are still young and have many opportunities in the future to continue playing competitively.
Timothy said he looked up to Martin Lew, who replaced him as a marksman for Rigel, and tried to make good use of this situation.
"Sometimes it's good to take a break and watch the games from another perspective," he said.
However, both Kenneth and Timothy were back with Rigel at the Singapore TLC Summer 2016 match 1 held yesterday.
WHAT IS LEAGUE OF LEGENDS?
League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena game developed by Riot Games in 2009. Players form teams of five, working together to invade and destroy the enemy’s base.
With 67 million people playing every month and 27 million playing every day, it has grown to have over 20 competitions worldwide and over eight competitions in Singapore.
The League of Legends’ 2015 World Championship cash prize money of over US$1 million (S$1.34 million) and Summoner’s Cup was won by Korean team, SKTelecom T1.