More than 1,000 fans waited in the pouring rain for the official unveiling of Hong Kong’s first RazerStore earlier this month.
Tan Min Liang, the Singaporean co-founder and CEO of gaming accessories powerhouse Razer, was in town for the grand opening in Causeway Bay’s Cannon Street.
The RazerStore – Razer’s sixth store worldwide – is a collaboration with local telecom giant 3 Hong Kong, and provides fans with everything they might need for the ultimate gaming experience. From laptops to mice, and headphones to keyboards designed specifically for gaming. You want it? It has it.
Local internet gaming celebrity Tat Gor, pro Street Fighter players and members of Team Razer Xian and Humanbomb, and many enthusiastic cosplayers, were on hand to congratulate Tan, who gave up a career as a lawyer to start the gaming lifestyle company in 2005.
Razer fan Yu Ming-yang, 19, was the first person in line for the store opening, and had waited on the crowded street since 6am the previous day.
When asked why he would wait for 20 hours in the humid Hong Kong weather, then sleep on cardboard for a night, he replied: “I just want to see the CEO, Tan. His dedication to gaming and vision for the company is like what Steve Jobs did for Apple. He really takes the time to interact with his fans, too.”
Yu’s extreme dedication was rewarded when he received a gift of a brand new Razer Blade laptop (worth HK$16,000) from Tan himself.
With the Hong Kong government set to support e-sports in an attempt to attract tourists – and with the huge e-sports festival coming up in August – Tan is optimistic about Razer’s involvement. “The RazerStore here is just one of many things we will do to drive e-sports and bring the gaming lifestyle to the masses,” he said.
Despite Tan’s incredibly hectic schedule, with constant travelling and meetings with his design, engineering and product departments, he still manages to fit in an hour or two of gaming every day.
Growing up with three older siblings, Tan recalls gaming sessions were fiercely competitive. Vying for supremacy at classics such as Lode Runner and Romance of the Three Kingdoms with his brothers, he hated losing and soon developed a mindset where giving up was not an option. He applies the same mindset to work.
“I view everything the same way I see gaming. Whenever you want to get to the next level, you try really hard and push yourself. Sometimes you die and have to start over, or sometimes you call your friends to help out, but you don’t give up.”
His desire to take things to the next level meant that while Razer was already dominating the accessories market – with precision gaming mice and keyboards – they decided to step into the actual hardware ring in 2013 with the Razer Blade, the first truly portable gaming laptop at the time.
Traditional PC manufacturers have since followed suit with their own gaming-oriented laptop lines, such as Dell’s Alienware.
Tan encourages young HongKongers to do what they love, whatever it may be.
“If you are passionate enough about something, you will succeed at it,” he said, as he headed back into the throng of adoring fans.