Article from the Sun daily by Jeremy Cheong (posted on 15 December 2016)
BEING a geek used to make one a social outcast. But due to the rapid growth of eSports (competitive gaming), video game live-streaming and the world's love for the latest consumer electronics, being a geek is now "cool".
If you don't believe me, just take a look at Faisal Ariffin. The 27-year-old has taken his love for gaming, comic books and superhero T-shirts to a new level as a host for eGG network, South East Asia's first 24/7 eSports and gaming entertainment TV channel.
He also manages one of Malaysia's top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams, runs an eSports-centric event management outfit, and regularly emcees for events.
"My hosting career started during my time in Tunku Abdul Rahman College. TARC organised a Talent Time Night and opened an emcee category for the first time. A friend dragged me along to the auditions, and I somehow ended up becoming a finalist then winning the whole shebang," Faisal recounted.
Even though he has other projects and responsibilities, hosting TV programmes remains Faisal's main passion as he enthused about coping with being in front of a camera – which is by no means an easy feat.
"I can very honestly and safely say that even after doing this for 10 years, it never gets easier as each show is different and so is the expectation of the directors, producers and viewers.
"But those challenges are the very reason I love hosting, and if I had to choose only one thing to do for the rest of my life, I would stick to being a TV host."
Name the best and worst experience you've had as a TV host.
The best experience I've had so far is getting the gig as a host for eGG network a few months back. Don't get me wrong, I loved every second of hosting the various shows I've hosted, but the fact that I'm hosting a channel that is dedicated to eSports and gaming is a dream come true.
As for my worst experience (laughs), I would have to say it was the time I hosted a children's programme on national television. That was the first time I worked on a show in Bahasa Malaysia and my god, was it horrible.
You're an avid gamer; why did you choose to manage a team instead of gaming competitively?
Because I'm old! I hate that word!(Laughs) But that is the word people have been using when I tell them I want to be a professional gamer.
First and foremost, I love my team. MVP Karnal has exactly what I was looking for in an eSports team.
We're a family; we win and lose together. The fact that they are one of the best teams in Asia is also a good thing. As the team manager, I do my best to ensure the team is financially stable, and that they are comfortable and ready for the next game.
Share with us your love for organising gaming events.
I love events, I love gaming. Put them together and it's pretty much a recipe made in heaven. It's like organising any other event; my team and I are able to showcase our creativity and passion as we're always thinking of new ways to top the previous work.
Additionally, working with an amazing team that shares a passion in gaming is another plus as it is what fosters thebond between us.
To wrap up, can you give us a sneakpeek of your plans?
Believe it or not, I don't have any plans. I am the type of person that tends to focus and work on what is important now. I'll let future Faisal decide what he wants to do. But I will let you in on a little secret: I still want to be aprofessional gamer. I will do whatever it takes to be one even if I'm 40. I will play professionally at least once before I die.
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