Haikal’s hopeful of bright future for esports after major breakthrough

PETALIING JAYA: Mohd Nor Haikal Mohd Noh has a good feeling about the growth of esports in Malaysia.

Its inclusion in the Commonwealth Games as a demonstration sport for the first time was a major breakthrough for the sport.

This has given Haikal confidence that esports is progressing and he is optimistic about its future development opportunities.

“Esports in Malaysia is now more developed because it is a core sport in sports outings in Asia and the world,” said Haikal.

“I believe that in the future, esports will be more advanced and not just about playing games.

“It can be developed into a business, commercial and marketing entity that benefits the sport.”

Haikal’s hard work paid off handsomely when he emerged as the winner of the eFootball category in the recent Commonwealth Esports Championships.

On Saturday, Haikal defeated Scotland’s Gary McInnes in the final round and brought home the gold medal.

“I felt very proud and happy that I delivered a gold medal for the country. I ventured in this sport since 2018 and I’ve been training eight hours everyday. It was all worth it when I won the tournament,” he said.

Haikal intends to savour the medal as it proves his success as an esports athlete.

“My parents opposed my decision to become a professional esports player at first because esports was all about playing games back then.

“But now, I’ve proved to them that I can do it and they’ve accepted my decision. They supported me through the ups and downs.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams of Dota 2 also delivered a gold each.

With the total of three gold medals, Malaysia topped the medal tally followed by England (1-3-1) and Wales (1-1-1).William Yeoh, Denise Danial Abdullah, Chung Wei Shen, Ahmad Ayhad Husam, Pang Sze Xuan and Loyd Yong Binjie were in the men’s team while the women’s team players comprised Stephanie Lim, Bette Chia, Tan Lyn Xhin, Nadrah Saufi, Wong Wei Sian and Lim Chern Tze.

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