The end of an era – Flash eSport closes its’ doors permanently on 3rd March 2014

To everyone who has followed or supported the team at some point of time throughout the past three years, you may perhaps have been expecting this.

How Flash eSports started and the rough summary of the team’s collective history

When I started Flash eSports in 2010 full-time, I had a vision for the team not only to be the best in Singapore but an icon of Southeast Asia eSports, to compete with the Western and/or Korea & China scene. I set myself a time-frame for the next two years I would need to groom our talent to a world-class, respectable standard as well as acquiring the necessary support (sponsorships, a content/marketing team etc) to give them the platform to do so. A lot has obviously changed since then.

In 2011, we became the best in Singapore by extension of signing the best players in their respective scenes (hibidi for FIFA and Revenant for SC2 were the top players by reputation at the time), followed up by snatches of promising talents to back up the first-team (Our triple signing of Blysk, DrakE and Kyzer was a testimony to that). We also delved into mobile gaming for a short time with Slyfoxlover (the only Singaporean to have won a gold medal at the World Cyber Games: Grand Finals), and later Counterstrike: Global Offensive with team DreamScape, a promising local team who caught my eye with a top British import in Daniel ‘DN’ Nygate.

The only exception was DotA, where we did not go for the top team at the time (Zenith) and my approach was to craft a collection of five strong individuals. Out of those five, four are no longer playing competitively today, and the only one who is still doing so is Alvin ‘Meracle’ Kang, who has gone on to great heights with Titan, Rising Stars and now Scythe.SG.

Later on, our players & myself were interviewed on more than one occasion by both local and international media, including ChannelNewsAsia, Yahoo Singapore and more.

So, it seemed everything was on track and we were well on our way towards realising our goals of international stardom. From the outside, everything looked rosy and bright, and inside, we were feeling quietly optimistic this could be the start of something special.

It is fair to say the team never reached the heights I envisioned. Although we were recognized as the top professional team outside of Singapore and the only one able to host one-two salaried players, we never flourished on the international stage. Our League of Legends team came closest in 2011 when they narrowly lost in the quarter-finals of the World Cyber Games: Grand Finals, while other concerted attempts by our FIFA Captain, hibidi got him a top 16 finish last year. Outside of WCG, we did well around the Southeast Asia scenes, finishing first in the Electronic Sports Thailand Championship & Cyberfusion eSports league, Malaysia (Season 1 & 2).

The only Singaporean representative, ironically, that managed to do so did not even come from our organization: Zenith. We came close to signing them on one occasion last year with Tammy/Furryfish on board, but the deal eventually fell through and we settled for another local team instead.

We also had several very promising leads we were working on in terms of sponsorship (some of the bigger names in the IT industry come to mind but shall not be mentioned), but ultimately materialised into nothing.

Why is the team closing now?

Something happened in the latter part of 2013. After nearly one year conscripted in the Singaporean army and the departure of one of our star players, I lost my passion for the team. My priorities in life had shifted, and I was turning 22 in a couple months’ time.

This put paid to the idea of releasing the team indefinitely. Our one-year running contract with Cooler Master (CM Storm) was almost up and we were struggling to fulfil both our contractual & playing obligations, and a possibility I had never considered until then started becoming clearer in my mind: the team had to be shut down.

The passion & class of our players made the difference, and won us numerous titles locally over other aspiring teams

On a personal level, I have definitely lost my fair share of friends along the way, and I have gone through some very painful periods of doubting myself and others. I have led the team through some very controversial times, what with the hiring of some very questionable personnel as well as enduring hits on my players & myself. The most painful part was undoubtedly the clashes within my family on business decisions (they had supported my idea financially). But that is a story not to be told here, so I shall leave it at that.

At this point, I would like to cut to the chase and keep this post objective. Below are some major highlights of the team I have chosen to pick out, achieved over the past three years.

Organizing the EPIC eSports convention in conjunction with the Singapore Game Festival in 2010, attracting over 10,000 people over three days to SCAPE

 

Our FIFA Captain, hibidi, ranking first on the world rankings (over 80,000 players).

 

Placing in top positions (1st, 3rd & top 8) for the World Championship Series: Singapore, National Finals

 

Putting together Singapore’s first Dota 2 league, the Flash Dota 2 League (FD2L) giving our local players the platform to showcase their talent

 

Local gaming celebrity/veteran, Tammy ‘Furryfish’ Tang joining team Flash

 

Winning 8 out of 9 titles at Singapore’s annual biggest gaming tournament, The Games Xpo/World Cyber Games in 2012

 

Winning accolades in countless regional tournaments around Southeast-Asia

 

To the people I would like to thank who have played an instrumental part in the growing of this team,

Sponsors

Cooler Master (Ennis, Ray, Johnson for their steadfast support of the team the past year and the first sponsor to offer us a lucrative deal in recognition of our achievements)

Zepy Games (Wai Mun, Terence, Chris, Avery for supporting the team during our annual launches)

GUNNAR Optiks/Xtreme Solutions (Jeremy & Nate for providing the first-grade GUNNAR gaming eyewear)

Current and ex staff

Cameron Carson (my last editor-in-chief and by far the one who shared the extension of my vision for the team)

Tammy Tang (one of the true local celebrities of our local gaming scene and a eSport veteran previously with Razer & PMS)

Matthias Beyer a pioneer of eSports in the early days with MYM, taking a risk back in January 2011 to drop everything in Germany to come over to Singapore to work for a largely unknown Singapore organization

Check Ho (my player manager, who not only taught me & my cyber-athletes things in the scene no one knew about but also life)

Yonanne (for doing such a splendid job with the website despite the occasional bugs & fault fixing)

Lance (for giving birth to the idea of Flash with me even though we are no longer on speaking terms)

Scene people/organizations:

Mali (one of the nicest, most genuine people I have met – hope everything works out for you in China)

Eric ‘Rein’ Khor (my mentor back at MYM, where we worked on tight deadlines and crafted editorial after editorial together)

Marc Onofrio (purely mentioned because he is my favourite australian buddy <3)

Elroy Pinto (For the occasional word of advice which I am grateful for, and constantly checking with me to see how the team is doing)

Kelly (For charting Singapore eSports on the world map with your early shoutcasting exploits, and doing an excellent job managing the reigning TI3 champions Alliance)

Sera (To be truthful it was only after speaking to you that you convinced me shutting the team down was the right thing to do, and for that & that alone you get a mention on this page)

Mary-Anne lee (Huge fan of your writing, all the best with your new position at Games in Asia).

DotaSingapore & MeetYourMakers, for giving me the head-start and foundation to start Flash eSports

Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association (SCOGA) & Telok Blangah Youth Executive club (YEC), the closest link we had to the government & our mutual collaboration during the Singapore Game Festival/EPIC eSports convention 2011

Rapture Gaming, for keeping the scene alive in the 2000s decade despite the numerous community criticisms

Flash Communications/Graphics, for providing the necessary design and logistical support to keep the team running

All players, current and ex, especially Wen Jun ‘hibidi’ Chiang and Thomas ‘Blysk’ Kopankiewicz, two outstanding cyber-athletes Singapore have produced in recent times and the countless scores who had the talent if not for the system/I that failed them (DreamScape, Bovines, Drake, our first Dota 2 team). There are four players in particular I would like to thank:

Hibidi, for being the longest-serving player & leadership figure of my team. His work ethic has been incredibly and he has remained professional throughout his time with the team, having grown in stature and maturity since we first signed him three years ago after coming in first-runner up in the Asian Championship final 2010. Loyalty is a rare trait, and his should be mentioned as there was more than one occasion when rival teams came up with better offers yet he chose to remain.

“I am proud to have represented this great esports organisation over the past 4 years. Flash was the team that gave me the opportunity to jump into the world of pro-gaming, and I will be forever indebted to Terence for his decision to sign me in September 2010. I also want to extend my thanks to our amazing sponsors CM Storm and Gunnar Optiks for their unwavering support since 2012. It has been a great journey for Team Flash, but all good things must come to an end, and I wish my teammates all the best in their future endeavours.”

Blysk, the one whom I always believed could cut it at the top and finally has with his recent entry into the top 200 of StarCraft II players in the world (Korea Grandmaster). Out of everyone in the team, you have grown the most both as a player and person, and I wish you the very best as you try to fulfil your undoubted potential for the remainder of this year.

“I still remember that day at the SMU Cup LAN when an 'unknown' just took down the greatest name of RTS in Singapore, Revenant. That was when Terence, Flash's manager, scouted me for the team. Flash has taught me so much and without them I would never be the player that I am today. Every organisation had its flaws and secrets and albeit that I always chose to stick with Flash because I believed there was going to be something greater. However today marks the day all that ends. There might be some unfinished business that I wanted to have done under the tag of Flash Esports but something always has to end before something new can start. I just want to thank the manager of Flash, Terence, for all he's done for me and the team, WenJun/hibidi and Daniel/dN from the various Flash divisions for all their advice and support these years, I truly wish them all the best in their endeavours. As of now I will be looking for a new team to bring me to new heights. But I will never forget what Flash has done for me. As Flash will always be in my handle.”

El Rey, the 16-year old kid whom I accidentally discovered at the back of a video games store nearly two years ago during our annual FIFA game launches. There was something earnest & special about you that day that prompted me to sign you just one week after, and you have been likeable & respectful throughout your time in the team, a reflection of your strong upbringing and good family background.

Revenant, for carrying the flag of the team for so long despite our acrimonious parting. We had our difficult times, but I appreciate what you did for Flash especially in the early years.

Not least, my parents, for being supportive and giving my idea wings when it couldn’t fly anymore in the midst of a very difficult time for me in NS and before that.

What happens now?

This page will remain open indefinitely as a commemoration of the team’s good & bad times, as will our social media accounts (Facebook & Twitter) for anyone who wants to look through our team’s history.

Today is the day I say goodbye to eSports and leave this chapter of my life behind for good.

Game on,

Terence Ting
Founder, Flash eSports
March 3, 2014

Website: http://www.flash-esports.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FlasheSports
Twitter page: https://www.twitter.com/flash_esports