Summer games

5/9/2012 5:23:36 PM

We get the game going for a one-on-one session with Ashley Khoo, the nation's billboard girl for video games

Ashley Khoo (a.k.a Summer) is the sort of girl you'll see at the top of your game score board. She's the sort of girl who could plant a headshot with a graceful flick and take on the nation's best FPS players on equal terms. And she's also the sort of girl who smiles a lot, who sounded like she's always ready to have fun, and who would find herself as the billboard girl of TM's UNIFI ad campaign. She is, most prominently, a gamer chick in the truest sense.

Description: Ashley Khoo

Tell us a little about yourself.

I started playing competitively in 2008, with a game called Sudden Attack. I formed a lady-team consisted of six members and we competed in Singapore, Ipoh, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur. The clan have to be disbanded after the six months, though, due to our commitments.

I've stopped playing competitively since 2010, and I'm currently a blogger. I'm also currently employed as a Marketing and Communications Executive.

Is there a game that is most important for you? That changed your life somehow?

It would have to be Counter-Strike. CS is the first game I've played, the one that got me into competitive gaming, and the one that formed the way I see how a gaming experience should be. I play games for the company, and nothing beats having a bunch of good friends in a game together. Counter-Strike was the first that did that for me. After that, there's little point in playing alone and shooting aimlessly without having someone to enjoy it with you.

What's your favourite video game ever, and why?

Quake! The multiplayer component, at least. I like it because it's fast-paced, and the one-on-one battles work better for me because I'm a much better solo player (*laughs*).

What are the top 3 games that you're playing most right now?

I still play Counter-Strike (Version 1.6); I play it over my Steam account. I've never really gotten into the Condition Zero and Source versions, and the upcoming Global Offensive one doesn't look too good to me. With it, I think you might as well can pick up Battlefield instead.

I also play Sudden Attack still, and have just gotten into Starcraft II. Still on the campaign mode though!

The games you’re most looking forward to play?

Diablo III! They keep delaying it, however.

Another game I'm looking forward to play is League of Legends. I heard from Garena that the competitive scene for DoTA will be shifting to LoL, which will make the tournament scenes for LoL much more exciting. Garena themselves are doing very well in improving their customer service and putting gamers as their top priority. As a gamer, I look people forward to that experience myself.

What PC rig and gaming accessories are you using right now?

Accessories wise, I'm using things sponsored by SteelSeries. I have a Steelseries 6Gv keyboard (it's very heavy!) and a Logitech G1 gaming mouse, as well as a SteelSeries headset and a SteelSeries mouse pad.

I'm still using a rig running an NVIDIA 9800-based GPU and I'm looking into upgrading my PC to a Core \1 processor, with a new sponsored motherboard from ASUS. I'll be needing a new power supply and my HDD is currently making some sounds. My monitor is still a 4:3 screen, so I'm looking to change to a widescreen one!

What are the most important aspects of a game that makes it work for you?

I don't have much requirements, honestly, but I just hope that games should stop trying to be so overly complex. Counter-Strike has a great foundation; it's fast-paced and is simple in concept. I don't like it when you have to use real-world transactions to give you the best weapons and character skins. I like things to remain fundamental, and just relying on your skills and tactics to win, not money. I just like to go into a game, use anything I can and just play.

It's never really about great graphics or complex gameplay for me -- just simplicity and fundamentality.

Do you have a pro-gamer idol?


Description: pro-gamer idol

I have an idol, but she doesn't game competitively anymore. Her name is Stevie Case. She was a very prominent Quake player and female figure in the competitive game industry, and when Microsoft was recruiting gamers she was one of the sponsored ones. She's now in the game commerce industry.

I admire her for the fact that she defeated Quake designer John Romero in a Quake deathmatch. It's an impressive thing, that a girl can actually make it. She inspired me to get into competitive gaming.

What are the challenges you've faced as a Gamer Girl?

The biggest challenge I had was to get recognised. Most outsiders view female gamers as persons that are playing online for the social interaction, but never putting their all into the game. It's a common stereotype and it makes it hard, as a female gamer, to What are the pros and cons of being a professional gamer in Malaysia?

The good stuff would be the recognition you get, and then the sponsorship and the freebies -- who wouldn't like that, right? The hard stuff is that you really need to maintain your status, and how you portray yourself properly. As I know, gamers in Malaysia aren't properly taught in speaking publicly when they're helping their sponsors sell products. A lot of people often perceive gamers as uneducated people, and I hope game publishers can help educate gamers in public appearance, too.

How do you see professional gaming in Malaysia in the near future?

It will blossom, surely, if we have more support from the government. Not a lot of tournaments are being organised currently due to lack of funds and sponsors. Some sponsors come in for the wrong reasons and they don't usually provide sufficient funding. If the government can pitch in their support, it can definitely go somewhere.

I see gaming as a sport, and it can blossom into a recognised one. With proper training and education, players can be cultivated to work and act professionally. I know Malaysian gamers don't get a lot of support from their family. Maybe, in this way, we can shed new light for both gamers and their family. Once cultivated, I think it will be a good platform for people to join in, not just as gamers, but as sportspeople.

Any words of wisdoms that you will like to impart?

Be nice to newbies! Every gamer starts on the bottom, so don't be too harsh on the people who just got their hands on the game. Swear less, be nice and be a teacher; we were once noobs too!

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