A team of five women from Singapore are off to the grand finals of the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) in March in China.
The team called Asterisk will be the first all-female group to compete in the world's highest-paid esports competition. Last week, the women finished second in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) in the Asia Pacific (APAC) finals in Qingdao, China and received US$4,000 in cash prize.
Asterisk is composed of Tasha Chew, 23, an accounting and finance graduate; Sabrina Ang, 20, an events planner; Meryl Oh, 22, a biomedicine professional; Dinah Marinah, 30, who works in the construction industry; Nurlelawati Hussain, 26, a graphics designer. Hanzel Chua, 31, a property agent, is the team manager.
The team has also set the record to be the first women to enter the APAC finals. Now they are bound for Haikou on Hainan Island from March 12 to 18 for the world finals and fight for the grand prize. This year, finalists will compete in four games: CS: GO, Dota 2, Hearthstone and StarCraft. Prize pot is set at US$3.7m.
In an interview with The New Paper, Chew, Asterisk's team captain, says winning a big-scale competition is unbelievable and placing second is amazing. Ang, the team's strategist, echoes Chew, adding that seeing "well-equipped" competitors made them feel like "little villagers who knew nothing".
Heading to the grand finals, Asterisk members are optimistic against all odds.
"We've had a taste of victory. Now everyone wants more," says Ang.
WESG is one of the most lucrative esports competition in the world hosted by Alisports, a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba. In 2016, more than 60,000 players from 120 countries vied for the US$5.5m prize at the WESG.