For those who keep track of some major DotA events in Asia, they will certainly feel surprised to see a dynamic girl involved. With infinite love for DotA, this girl has done many amazing things that greatly contributed to the development of the Asian DotA . This special girl named Sing Chi, also known as Dpmlicious.
Dpmlicious with IceFrog Plushie
As a pure DotA player, Dpmlicious has entered the DotA community as a matter of chance. However, by individual efforts, Dpm has gained a lot of success when involved in various major DotA events in Hong Kong, Singapore... and, recently the Pinoy Gaming Festival in the Philippines. Currently, she has been very excited about DOTA 2, the gaming blockbuster developed by Valve and IceFrog. Let’s meet and have a chat with Dpmlicious to know how special she is in this article!
RGN: Tell me about your competition honours in gaming.
Dpmlicious: I am a community person, not a competitive gaming athlete. I enjoy high quality games and captain’s mode, but I don’t have the time needed for the intensive training required for competitive gaming.
But, in 2009, I did join one Garena China competition with about 32 to 64 teams. I formed a team with the top players in Hong Kong and Taiwan. It was just for fun, but we ended up winning first place.
Garena’s Zenith Cup 2009. Final. Will the real dpm please stand up?
RGN: When did you start playing games?
Dpmlicious: When I was a kid, I was naturally drawn to games. Unfortunately, my mother was extremely strict and did not let me have any console games. Anyway, I preferred reading more. As I got older, I only played a few random Flash games.
It was because of my friends that I started playing more ‘hardcore’ PC games in 2004. It started off with Counter Strike and only against each other. Then, they got tired of it and wanted to play WarCraft 3, but I really disliked it. Then, they made me try DotA. At first I hated it and wanted to play CS instead. But, obviously, I grew to love it.
RGN: You said that you didn’t like DotA at first, but why are you now a very famous face in the DotA community?
Dpmlicious: Famous? Trust me, I’m not famous! My goal in being involved is not to be famous but to help strengthen our community. While I want my work and message to reach as many people as possible, I would rather that they focus on the content and message than me. But let me try to answer your question. DotA is an incredible game, but it takes time to learn the ropes. The reason why I grew to love it and stick with it is because of the high quality of the game, but more importantly, the bonds I have made through the game.
Though I started playing DotA in 2004, it was until 2008 that I became more involved in the community. In 2008, I co-organised DotA tournaments in Hong Kong and was the Head DotA Marshall for WCG Hong Kong. Then, I was asked to host a show match. (This was before host bots were popular and readily available.) After watching that show match, many teams approached me to lend them a hand. I would spend hours each night hosting games. Then, I also started helping teams match-up their training schedules.
In 2009, I became more officially involved in the Garena community as a voluntary Community Administrator. It started as moderating the HK rooms because people kept on complaining about quitters. Then, I was asked to run the East Asia Qualifier for ADC, be involved in the main forum and some other projects. I eventually became one of the senior community admins. This was the year that I joined the portal PlayDotA as the News Editor for Asia. We used to post news every day!
In 2010, I decided to accept an offer to work at Garena and held some DotA events, amongst other things. I eventually left to focus on DotA. In 2011, I went to The International, The Games Xpo and The Pinoy Gaming Festival for different reasons for each event. My guess is that this is when more people started recognising me. Even more so because of the recent frenzy over DOTA 2 beta keys.
Trying to run away with a cheque!
RGN: Can you tell me more about what you have done in PlayDotA. Were you an assistant of IceFrog? Do you know him well?
Dpmlicious: I invited more awesome community people to gather and post news. We did an excellent job and it was extremely fun. I posted quite a lot myself, almost on daily basis back when I was super active.
I wasn’t an assistant and I’m not sure if he has any of those. Even if he did, he probably would never make them feel that way. IceFrog is an awesome person with immense passion for his game. I really respect him and his dedication. Working and talking with him is fun. He’s logical, intelligent and humorous. But, I would say I’ve only scratched the surface of knowing him.
RGN: You worked with IceFrog online? Did you see his real face?
Dpmlicious: I haven’t seen his real face and I don’t think it’s important what he looks like. I respect his desire for privacy. Therefore, I know you’ll understand that I won’t answer any more questions about him.
RGN: Can you tell me about your work now with DOTA 2?
Dpmlicious: I don’t work for Valve. I just really love the game, just as many people do. I like to try to make sure that competitive teams can have access to the game because many tournaments are popping up even in its beta phase!
RGN: Tell me what you think about DOTA 2. Which are the advantages and disadvantages of it? Will it be the successor of DotA?
Dpmlicious: IceFrog is dedicated to the excellence of this game and he really does care and listen to people. Partner that with Valve and you’ve got a winning game! DOTA 2 is great. The best things are the numerous features added into the game. Having it on one platform will help unify the community. My biggest concern would be the difficulties of people who struggle with slow internet connection or low spec PCs, particularly during the beta phase.
If by “successor of DotA”, you mean whether it will be more popular than LoL and HoN, I don’t believe it’s important to think about it. DOTA 2 will be an excellent game. Its competitor is itself, to keep on improving to deliver to its players. There is always room for other games to exist.
DotA 2 Fansign <3
RGN: I saw that you had a DOTA 2 Beta Key Giveaway on your website. Can you tell me more about it?
Dpmlicious: I planned it because I was initially going to be sponsored to go there, but eventually wasn’t. I decided to go anyway for three main reasons. (1) I REALLY wanted to see and experience the AWESOME atmosphere I knew there would be at a PGF DotA event. (2) I really wanted to bring more beta keys to people in the Philippines. (3) I wanted more people overseas to know how great the DotA scene is in the Philippines.
I had a great time there, like I knew I would. The Mineski events team, all teams and audience members were great. Mineski International was particularly kind and very hospitable. I am definitely glad that I went and would never regret it.
Day 3, just before the Final [Dpmlicious and team Mineski]
RGN: In many Asian countries, gaming is perceived as something extremely negative, like drugs and violence. What do you think about it?
Dpmlicious: Many Asian countries struggle with these problems. I’m uncertain about other regions. Many of us, passionate gamers, have noticed this trend and hope that it will change.
Mainstream media continues to feed these stereotypes. For example, my Singaporean friend mentioned that a person was labelled as a "gamer" in the headline of an article, even if the incident had nothing to do with gaming. You don’t see the media randomly reporting that the person involved in a stabbing also happened to be fond of knitting! Furthermore, Mineski Rhom was once interviewed for mainstream TV. He had so many positive things to say, but in the end, they decided to make the piece negative and focus on some issues that only involve a minority of gamers.
It hurts me even more when some of my non-gamer friends hold the same prejudices. Personally, I was treated differently by a debate mentor because of my involvement in gaming and choosing a gamer as a boyfriend. He called him "the scum of Singapore". Recently, one of my closest friends told me that gamers are people with no lives who leech off their family for as long as they can.
The majority of gamers do not fit their stereotypes. Besides, for every group of people with a particular hobby, there will be a minority that has some kind of problem. I was introduced to gaming because of my English Debate teammates at the University of Hong Kong, which is currently ranked #22 in the world and #1 in Asia. They have gone on to become a lawyer, university researcher, international school teacher, elite private education tutor and manager and a law student. Two of them have two degrees, Law and their first degree, and won international mooting contests. Three of them still play DotA regularly and have recently started trying out DOTA 2. There are plenty of examples of exceptional people and also, gamers.
Let’s try to change the perception non-gamer people have about gamers through examples and helping them understand our community.
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