After 8 straight hours of killing minions, taking down turrets and slaying enemies, rookie gamer Long “Girl” Shih Kiat is exhausted. Filling the gap of retired veteran player Stefan “Soul” Chong has been rough for Girl and the rest of team Evos SG.

Game reviews, back-to-back matches, 1-on-1 coaching sessions with Soul and good team communication are just some of the strategies Girl employs to try and fill the shoes of his senior, who has gone into business development within the company. 

“There is a tremendous amount of pressure knowing that I am taking over Soul’s position in the team,” said the Evos SG rookie. “There is definitely a drop in skills as well as team synergy.”

Credit: Girl’s Facebook

In spite of the big shoes to fill, Girl has proven to be a reliable replacement. Living up to the reputation and high standards of both Soul and his mentor Ng “Kolia” Shao Ming can be overwhelming. But Girl has been one of those to watch in the inaugural season of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League Singapore (MPL SG). His average damage tanked per minute stats (6,670) for the regular season put him in second place, only behind Ho “SynC” Ee Hong from RSG SG with (7,606).

And if Girl does go all the way to help Evos SG win the MPL SG playoffs, the Singapore team will probably have Kolia – ironically, the captain of MPL SG rivals Notorious Villains – to thank. It was Kolia who first spotted Girl and taught him the finer points of gaming. And when Evos SG was looking for an offlaner to fill their MPL SG roster, Kolia recommended Girl.

“I still respect him as my mentor and I’m grateful for all his help as I wouldn’t be here without him,” shared the 20-year-old student. “I’m also looking forward to again meeting him on the field.”

Credit: Girl’s Facebook

From student to master

Despite being grateful to his mentor, Girl is looking forward to doing the double over Kolia in the May 7-9 playoffs. The disciple was able to put one over the master when Evos SG thrashed Notorious Villains 2-0 on Week 3 Day 2 of the regular season.

Girl may just be a rookie, but he is an undeniable nuisance on the battlefields of the Land of Dawn. Able to hold a lane by himself and tank damage during team fights, Girl’s on-point rotations and skills constantly foils the plans of enemies. The team-centric playing style that he inherited from Kolia has seen Evos SG chalk up a competition high 76 per cent win rate.

It was only 6 years ago that Girl was introduced to the world of gaming by his friends. They were also responsible for giving him his unique moniker – which he decided to keep. 

Going pro never crossed his mind – until he witnessed RSG’s dominating win in the 5th Season of MPL SG/MY. The spectacular plays and skills of the team wowed Girl and inspired him to pursue a career playing competitive MLBB.

And the Temasek Polytechnic student believes that MPL SG is the perfect platform for young gamers to see the quality of professional esports in Singapore and be inspired to also take it up seriously. 

Said Girl: “I would like to see new blood in gaming and continued growth and support for the scene. Hopefully, we can pave the way for more professionals.”

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