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    Ho Kun Xian

    Meet
    Ho Kun Xian

    Esports World Champion

    To become a true champion, one must fight for one’s passion. And Kun Xian (better known as Xian), understands the challenges faced by all esports athletes. Coming from a humble family background, Xian spent his youth in gaming arcades, where he fell in love with the high-octane technicalities of fighting games like King of Fighters and Street Fighter.

    As Xian’s skills grew, so did his desire to distinguish himself as a professional gamer. His efforts culminated in a win at the EVOLUTION (EVO) 2013 World Championship, and a full-time sponsorship from tech company Razer. As esports grows in popularity, so does Xian’s conviction to secure greater victory, and cement Singapore’s place on the gaming world map.

    Community
    and Competition

    “I’m a very competitive person, and fighting games give me the satisfaction of winning,” Xian says. “Fighting games are about making the right decisions in a split second…and getting them right is indescribably satisfying.” Besides his love for competition, Xian’s passion is fuelled by his sense of pride and belonging to the local gaming community. “My friends Lenn and Yongde actually sponsored my [flight] tickets and hotel rooms for two years, before [I competed at EVO 2013]. I hope to give back in the same way, [which is why] I hold qualifiers every month, so that I can help others chase their dreams.”

    Xian's 
    competitive hotspots

    From arcades and communal gaming spots to heartland neighbourhoods buzzing with activity, Xian brings you around the places that helped define him as an esports world champion.

    Xian walking past Selegie

    Gaming culture at Selegie

    On his path to becoming a professional gamer, Xian would frequent the Selegie neighbourhood, with its various gaming establishments and LAN cafes. “My friend Yongde and I had a shop called Tough Cookie [Gaming Café] at Selegie, ... it was like a training ground for me.”

    Players engaging in video games

    Community and Camaraderie

    To get a hands-on experience of the camaraderie in Singapore’s gaming community, visit Versus City. The establishment is a communal gaming space that houses a range of PC, arcade and retro video games. “Versus City is a very friendly community…it’s like a family space,” the champ shares.

    Exterior of Amoy Street Food Centre

    Fuelling up at hawker centres

    “I’m really proud of Singapore’s amazing and affordable food,” Xian enthuses. “I tend to eat chicken rice or wanton mee before flying [overseas for competitions].” Xian recommends visiting Amoy Street Food Centre for its myriad hawker delights, or Golden Mile Food Centre for its chicken rice.

    Interior of Virtualand

    Go head-to-head at NEX Virtualand

    Gaming arcades—like NEX Virtualand—hold nostalgic memories for Xian, and are great places to enjoy head-to-head competition. “When I was young, my parents would bring me to the arcade if I scored well in my exams,” he reminisces. “I’d have to make just S$2 [worth of arcade tokens] last seven hours.”

    Xian in front of an arcade machine

    An esports champion’s guide to Singapore

    Professional esports athlete, Ho Kun Xian, guides you through the hotspots in Singapore that defines him as a global champion.

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