League of Legends tournaments and entrepreneurial booths are just part of Hong Kong's first e-sports festival

League of Legends tournaments and entrepreneurial booths are just part of Hong Kong's first e-sports festival

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The atmosphere at the festival in Hong Kong wasn't as good as it is at some international events.
Photo: Cyber Games Arena

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Girls HK (blue and black uniforms) were no match for semi-professional team Logi-A (pink and white).
Photo: Cyber Games Arena

The Hong Kong Computer and Communications Festival isn't just a mobile version of Sham Shui Po Golden Arcade or Wan Chai Computer Centre. This year's festival, which ran from Friday to Monday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, was about a lot more than just computers, bringing in screaming crowds, YouTubers, and a lightshow worthy of any concert.

This was the first-ever e-sports festival held in Hong Kong, and the first to be linked to the computer festival.

Hosted by Logitech and Cyber Games Arena, and topped off with appearances by YouTubers and game demos, the event was packed with things to do and watch.

Who runs the gaming world?

One of the highlights was the exhibition match between Logi-A, a Taiwan-based all-girls League of Legends team, and Girls HK, a local all-girls team. Going into the match it was expected that the much more experienced Logi-A would win, and they did with a superb performance.

Having taken an early lead, Logi-A took complete control of the game after seven minutes with a beautiful turret dive, trading one death for four kills and a dragon.

Their lead continued to grow, and by the 20th minute, they breached Girls HK's base, tearing down the nexus just one minute later.


The girls who play the gamers' game


"Kimchi" Kim Kwan Kam-tsz, a support player for Girls HK, said a lack of practice and experience was the main reason they lost.

"It wasn't so much about nerves; sure it's a stage and a big audience, but when you get into the game, you are 'in the zone'," she said.

Going into game details, she added: "We managed to get most of our comfort champions out, and we're an amateur team playing against a semi-professional team. That said, we still didn't expect to lose so badly."

Hong Kong isn't a great e-sports scene

Another drawcard of the e-sports festival was the open bracket tournament (meaning any team can play) for LOL. Two Hong Kong teams - iCeLand and FreeDoM - were the stars of the event.

iCeLand appeared as strong as ever, easily defeating FreeDoM 2-0.

Their confidence was clear after the match, too, with "Supercat" Ming Cheung Ka-ming, mid-laner for iCeLand, saying: "I thought it would be harder."

Touching on the differences between the local e-sports and foreign scene, iCeLand captain, "228" Alex Cheung Chai-wai, said: "It was a poor crowd. The lack of chanting and cheering for teams meant the atmosphere wasn't great."

Supporting player "Rainman" Licken Leung Tsz-long explained: "It's not just an e-sports problem, it affects all sports. All Hongkongers' enthusiasm is reserved for foreign leagues. For example, when it comes to football, everyone watches the English Premier League. If you say you watch local matches, people will laugh at you."

St Margaret's graduates (from left) Bruce Chan, Ben Yuen Chun-yiu, Peter Mak Ka-ho, Harry Cheung and Matthew Tam Hong-sang.
Photo: Wong Tsui-kai/SCMP

Business minds behind the games

Apart from e-sports, there was a competition to help people develop their business skills, and this caught the attention of a team of graduates from St Margaret's Co-educational English Secondary and Primary School.

One of the team members, Harry Cheung Ho-hoi, said: "We went to a job fair that was hiring temporary workers for the computer festival, but then we saw the 'Become your own boss - learning entrepreneurship' competition and decided to try our luck at that instead."

Harry realised that being an entrepreneur is hard. "We didn't lose money. But we would have made more money this weekend by just taking up jobs as temporary workers at the fair."

Teammate Bruce Chan Chi-long is more optimistic. "We might try again next year and do better."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
A new kind of festival in HK

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