How can we improve League of Legends in Malaysia? Zafiroth weighs in

Zafiroth (4th from the left) with Team Orange at the TLC Winter 2015 tournament

In Malaysia, League of Legends is usually seen as one of the three most popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games, with over 400,000 gamers following the League of Legends – Singapore & Malaysia Facebook page alone.

Along with the rise of the game’s popularity, more and more competitive players are emerging, all fighting to achieve a spot in regional and/or global competitions. Sylvester “Zafiroth” Lee, from Malaysia, is no exception.


Zafiroth started gaming at a remarkably early age of three, playing Age of Empire, Warcraft and Diablo. In 2014, one of the local players motivated and inspired him to play more competitively. “The player was Vyprex or Xare, I think. I remembered that he played Leblanc,” he relates.

Since then, Zafiroth has been vying to “get into the spotlight” as he puts it, either in the local The Legends Circuit (TLC) or Garena Premier League (GPL), or even on the world stage. “Is gaming a potential career for me? I’ll say yes,” he says enthusiastically.

However, the League of Legends scene requires a few tweaks locally, in his opinion.

“The biggest problem the Malaysia League of Legends competitive scene is facing would be the laziness and lack of determination,” he observes. “Players in Malaysia lack determination to even train as a team and play as a team to take down the local top teams. This renders the top teams unchallenged, which may eventually reduce the number of potential player replacements, or those who would start an underdog team to take down the giants. Most of the teams or players in the scene tend to quit right after they lost a game or tournament to look for a better one, but this just gives them a temporary satisfaction if that new team does win.”

(A cursory check across suggests this may be true for Malaysian teams whose roster movements were recorded, with some key players being part of multiple teams throughout their career.)

Zafiroth adds that Garena, as the sole game distributor in the region, has an important role to play in ensuring competitive gamers are groomed for the future of the game’s eSports industry, which includes making sure that players are rewarded for staying in the competitive arena. “For instance, they could give them the task of advising the community on topics like “How to be a positive player”, “How to climb the ranks” or even be part of Garena’s events, and reward them for it,” he says.

Zafiroth (4th from the left) with Team Orange at the TLC Winter 2015 tournament
Zafiroth (4th from the left) as the coach of Team Orange at the TLC Winter 2015 tournament playoffs


In addition, Zafiroth proposes that instead of funding Weekend Cups, resources could be focused on creating a pro-team training program, with a yearly tournament. “(The) winning team of the tournament gets a year-long training program to be a pro-gamer,” he suggests, noting that this could mirror how the existing professional team under Garena, the Kuala Lumpur Hunters, are currently being funded and trained.  In turn, this might allow more brands to participate in the competitive eSports scene, allow potential players to achieve something and acquire more recognition, and to allow the creation of a new and competitive brand/team that is capable of competing against the Kuala Lumpur Hunters.

Zafiroth (4th from the left) with the DGC (DGCoup de Grace – now disbanded) roster at the ASUS League of Legends showdown, 2015
Zafiroth (4th from the left) with the DGC (DGCoup de Grace – now disbanded) roster at the ASUS League of Legends showdown, 2015

Zafiroth (4th from the left) with the DGC (DGCoup de Grace – now disbanded) roster at the ASUS League of Legends showdown, 2015


When asked about the role of gamers themselves to help the growth of eSports locally, Zafiroth grows serious. “I believe that everyone has their duty,” he says. “Each one of us has his own strength and talent, and there is a place for him or her to display those to the fullest. As a gamer, not all of us are born with talents to be a professional gamer, a prodigy or a games expert. However, those of us who don’t have the luck to be one, could do a bit of good by giving out helpful tips to new players.”

He also recommends creating a community, clan, guild or organization to promote and help the scene, reflecting on his own experience with his own former clan, Delta xquad Gaming. “Those days, when the community used to create clans in Garena to get players together, it seemed as if there was a better community (feel) compared to now.” Apart from that, participating in the competitive scene as streamers, shoutcasters, coaches or practicing with a team would also be helpful, he says.

As for the brands or the general public looking to understand eSports?

“Sometimes, a gamer doesn’t have to dress or look like a gamer,” Zafiroth smiles. “Sometimes, they won’t know that a Straight A SPM student could be a Challenger in League of Legends, or that a just-graduated Engineer is a TLC competitive player.”

Follow Zafiroth on social media here:


Delta xquad Gaming:



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