SEA Games 2023: Singapore Clinch First-ever Gold in E-sports
SINGAPORE – A shiny moment for Singapore’s Valorant team as they clinched a historic e-sports gold medal at the SEA Games on Thursday had its sheen tarnished slightly within hours.
Singapore had been awarded the gold after Indonesia forfeited Wednesday night’s grand final of the Mixed Valorant (PC) team event final, sparking a furore among Indonesian fans.
The Singapore team comprising Ayrton “artn” Soh, Yeoh “Divine” Chun Ting, Ingram “FREY” Tan, Marcus “nephh” Tan Rodman “vera” Yap and Tidus “STYRON” Goh had taken the first game 13-8 in the best-of-three series at Olympia Mall and were leading 10-4 in second game, only for play to be suspended owing to a dispute.
Indonesia had filed a complaint alleging that Singapore had used a Cypher bug that allowed them to see their rivals’ positions. Deliberations went on for a few hours, with the grand final postponed indefinitely.
Singapore were initially given the gold medal on Thursday after a walkover, before both teams were named joint gold medallists about 1½ hours later.
Before the decision was made, Goh revealed that he had received threats on social media, noting in a tweet: “We read the rules, we obeyed every TO (technical official) decision to rollback or play on, we waited and we are still labeled cheaters, what a way to take away every honour the medal carries.”
The Singapore Esports Association Instagram page was also flooded with comments from angry Indonesian fans, with many accusing the Singapore team of cheating. Wrote novintt: “All indonesian supporters waiting all of u guys… We wait at main gate olympia mall. Just want to show u the real fairness.”
Singapore had emerged as the third seeds after victories over Indonesia, Cambodia and Malaysia in the group stage.
They then booked their spot in the final after a 2-0 triumph over Vietnam – to whom they had lost by two points in the opening match – in the semi-finals earlier on Wednesday.
This is Singapore’s first gold in e-sports since it was introduced as a medal event at the biennial Games in 2019.
The Republic had come close at the previous two editions of the competition. In 2019, Thomas Kopankiewicz clinched silver in Starcraft II, while the Republic also finished second in the League of Legends: Wild Rift (women’s team) in 2022.
Valorant, a first-person tactical-hero shooter game, was introduced to the SEA Games this year.
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