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.
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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!