September was an exciting month for our local female League of Legends team, Asterisk. It heralded their international debut in the Asian League of Legends Women’s All-Star Game. Held in Wuxi, China, this all-female competition was held concurrently with the Intellectual Sports Summit Forum at the World Internet of Things Exposition from September 9 - 13. A total of 15 teams were involved in the tournament, with prominent teams from Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Thailand present. Familiar names include the renowned Hong Kong team PandaCute and China’s very own JDG Gaming!
We had a chance to talk to Asterisk about the team’s experiences in Wuxi and their thoughts about being the first competitive female team to represent Singapore in an international competition. The girls arrived in China a day earlier to orientate themselves and received a warm, hospitable welcome that included an extensive buffet dinner as well as goodie bags for each participant. Brackets were drawn on the spot and Asterisk ended up in Bracket B, having to fight it out against HLL from Taiwan, RS from Taiwan, JDG Gaming from China, and Devil Rays from China for the Top 2 spots to proceed to the Semis.
With this being Asterisk’s first ever international foray, the sheer size of the exhibition centre and stage were daunting to say the least. Adding on the fact that they were one of the rare teams that didn’t have a coach at the venue along with the foreign Chinese client, Asterisk had to try their best to adapt to the unfamiliar settings. Not used to the Chinese names of the champions, they had to resort to saying things like “Can you find the feathered lovers for us? (可以帮我们找羽毛情人吗?)” since they had no idea what Xayah and Rakan were called in Chinese.
Asterisk even had the opportunity to play in the gaming booths on the main stage for their final game of the day vs RS Gaming. Despite it being their first time playing in such an environment, Asterisk was able to calm their nerves and communicate more, bagging their first win of the day against the Taiwanese team.
The final day of the competition was just as memorable, with an opening ceremony and official introduction of all paricipating teams on stage with a signboard displaying their team name and logo. Coupled with the fact that this was in front of 78 different journalists and also simultaneously broadcasted onto Huya’s livestream, this remains one of Asterisk’s most impactful memory in China.
Although Asterisk did not make it out of the group stages, they continued as avid spectators of the very exciting tournament. The competition concluded with Terran Forces, Devil Rays, and JDG Gaming claiming the Top 3 spots. Despite their packed schedule, Asterisk still managed to find some time to complete their Wuxi experience with a sumptuous hotpot meal and the classic shopping spree.
As the first League female team to be invited to represent Singapore in an overseas competition, Asterisk came into this tournament with an abundance of excitement but were also troubled by the expectations and responsibility that being the pioneer female competitive team to go international. Being able to compete against full-time gaming teams and experience first-hand how developed the global female competitive scene was something that they’d never forget. Asterisk is excited to use the wealth of knowledge that they’ve accumulated in Wuxi to expand on potential ideas for future female gaming events in Singapore (do look out for the second edition for Female Singapore League sometime later this year!) and to be able to reach out and inspire fellow girl gamers out there.