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RGN on 2010-01-26


The PES community and me

Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) is a sports game which has attracted huge numbers of gamers in Vietnam. Its popularity can, in fact, be explained by the many Playstation Shops offering PES that have sprung up everywhere Vietnam, especially in big cities. The game’s appeal can also be attributed to the soccer craze in Vietnam – most locals either watch or play the sport. Hence, it comes as no surprise that PES is the mainstay game for pupils, students and even officers in Vietnam.

Vietnamese people generally play PES casually to have fun with their friends. However, since 2005, there has been a trend of gamers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City going pro. These players banded together to form teams and clans, training rigorously to clinch top positions in local competitions. However, this infant competitive community was very small – the largest avenue they had communicated was a small-forum on the Gamevn forum.

I first joined this community in late 2006 as a high-school student. Back then, I joined some of the PES clans and competed in numerous Esports tournaments held in Hanoi. Along with some of my friends, most of whom are my current teammates in my PES team, uNstoppable. I also organized several competitions for high school students. The satisfaction I felt when successfully organizing a small event was very different from that of me taking part in one; it was through these experiences that I gradually realised that I wanted to be responsible for the development of the Vietnamese PES community.

In September 2008, when I became a freshman in university, I decided to post some threads in the Gamevn forum calling for a more united and professional Vietnamese PES community. My main proposed means of doing so was through the establishment of an official Vietnamese PES community portal. Spurred on by the support of fellow PES players on the forum, I went on to create my website,

Initial difficulties

Searching for a server to host, my online Vietnamese PES portal, was no simple task. After months of having the website going up and breaking down, I finally found a stable and reliable server that was willing to host the website. It was the first time in my life that I had to sign an important contract; I felt a mixture of pride and accomplishment.

After resolving the website issues, I moved on to tackle the next problem: uniting the Vietnamese PES community. Ever since Konami released two PES versions in 2007 (next gen and current gen), Vietnamese PES community has been split into two camps, one playing the former version, and another the latter. Moreover, many gamers still continued playing PES on Play Station 2, despite how outdated the console was. This was largely due to the high costs of procuring a high end PC or third generation consoles (i.e. Xbox360 & PS3) to play the game on.

To overcome these hurdles, I organized even more competitions playing on the Play Station 3 platform, with little or no registration fees. Fortunately for me, the cost of organizing these competitions were not too high as they had the support of the Playstation 3 shops. Through my efforts, I hoped to unite the community and encourage more gamers to go pro.

One year later...

Over the next year, my teammates and I drew closer to our goals, as more and more people who played PES in Vietnam came to know of Updating the website with the latest news and information regarding new patches was an exciting task for me. Some of the editors, who were interested in “Vietnamizing” PES, grouped up and began to make special version of PES version for Vietnamese gamers. After quite a bit of work, they came up with the PESvn and MSK Patch, pleasing PES fans nationwide.

Competitions are now organized frequently in many parts in Vietnam. In Hanoi, the most prominent tournament is the PESvn Cup. It is hosted monthly to create a positive, competitive play-field for PES players to battle it out. Using the outcome of this event, we came up with a series of PES rankings to honor the best PES players.

Good memories

One particularly fond memory I have with is that of organizing the PESvn Cup in Hanoi in early February 2009. Being a free-to-join competition, the Cup attracted a large number of competitors (about 200, in all) which made it difficult to manage. The day was very hectic and tiring, and I still remember how happy I was, seeing it come to an end successfully. What made the event more memorable to me is that I had to leave Hanoi for military service for my study the day after.

Another unforgettable experience was travelling to Ho Chi Minh City with some of the top players from Hanoi to attend the Vietnam eSports Championship 2009 in July 2009. This was the first time I had the chance to meet Ho Chi Minh City’s PES Community, and I was thrilled by the prospect. Through that trip, the relationship between the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City PES communities strengthened greatly.

Looking ahead

It brings me joy to see how far has come today. Its success is the fruit of years of effort and hard work – not just by me but the many gamers and teammates that have stood behind me all the way. Even as I come closer to graduating from university, I will not falter from my goal of bettering the website and Vietnamese PES community. I still have many plans in mind for the years ahead.

Personally, my greatest regret is not having won any championship title for PES. Perhaps one day, when I am done with my studies and relieved of my role in managing the website, I will find the time to train hard enough to clinch one.

A few year from now, I might be studying aboard in United Kingdom. I consider it to be a great opportunity to expose myself to the world outside of Vietnam. I hope to join and learn from its PES community, and to use these experiences to make the Vietnamese PES scene better.


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