Friday, July 29, 2016

Aspiring Pro-Gamer Juggles Studies and Ambition

Khairull’s gaming setup at home
Hardworking, motivated, ambitious.

These are three words I would use to describe second-year Diploma in Mass Media Management student, Khairull Hafidz – an aspiring pro-gamer.

The 21-year-old’s ambitions started way back to when he got his first game – “Beyblade” on the PlayStation 1 (PS1).

“I got Beyblade for free on the PS1. It was loads of fun, and as it was free, I didn’t complain,” recounts Khairull.

His favourite games included the likes of Halo Reach, a strategic first-person shooter game, and Dota 2, which requires strategy, patience and making tough decisions on-the-go. Together, he has spent thousands of hours playing both titles – a statement in itself of how much he appreciates games of this genre.

With so much time committed to gaming, how does he manage to juggle his hobby with his studies?

Khairull does this by prioritising his studies. He does not go out much, and that leaves his weekends relatively free – another opportunity for him to delve deep into his passion. Khairull balances both work and play by studying during the week and gaming over the weekend. During exam periods, he reduces his gaming to a bare minimum.
  From left: Khairull and myself 
However, things were not as smooth-sailing when he first started out in gaming.

Khairull’s grades suffered in primary and secondary school – with the latter being the most affected and he ended up not doing well for his ‘O’ Levels.

When he joined ITE, he managed to find a balance between study and play. Unlike secondary school, lessons were not tightly scheduled together in ITE, and soon, he found it much easier to excel in his studies and indulge in his hobby.

After obtaining his Higher NITEC certificate, he enrolled in Nanyang Polytechnic, where he continued to excel in his studies, consistently maintaining a GPA of above 3.2.

People often view gaming in a negative light due to its addictive nature, but Khairull begs to differ.

“Gaming is so much more than what people think. Gaming teaches you many things – from critical thinking and strategic skills to hand-eye coordination. I’ve also made many great friends from gaming online, which is a nice thing!” Khairull enthuses, adding that people who are quick to criticize gaming do not understand what it is all about.

Khairull also strives to work towards pursuing gaming as a profession.

“Those professional gamers who participate in major tournaments can potentially earn thousands or even millions of dollars depending on how prestigious the competition is,” he says. 

He is taking solid steps towards becoming a pro-gamer by gaming whenever he has the time in the hope that he will reach the levels of his idols, and in the process attract the attention of numerous sponsors.

As for now, however, studies take precedence as constant gaming will not earn him good grades in school.

From struggling with his studies and gaming to excelling in both today, Khairull’s journey has been nothing but inspirational.

By Michael Evan Teo, Diploma in Mass Media Management

Michael Evan Teo is a Year Two student pursuing the Diploma in Mass Media Management at Nanyang Polytechnic. He is very passionate about film, music and comic books. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies, playing football, listening to music from 90s and helping out in church. Currently, Michael has created about six short films and aspires to be a filmmaker when he graduates. He also has his own film blog which reviews movies.

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