Pakistani gamer Arsalan Siddique aspires to become an inspiration for video gamers in the country and wants the government to take e-sports seriously.
The 23-year-old from Lahore was crowned the champion of Tekken 7 at the world’s biggest and most prestigious fighting game tournament, Evo 2019, in Las Vegas on August 5.
“Fighting games have been dominated by China, South Korea, Japan and the United States,” Siddique told SAMAA TV on its morning show Naya Din on Friday. He said Pakistani players need to participate in international tournaments.
Known in the gaming world as ‘Arsalan Ash’, he defeated South Korean gaming legend Knee in the tournament. Siddique is now being called a ‘Tekken God’ by gamers around the world.
“Winning EVO is the biggest victory for any gamer,” he believes. However, Siddique had to train for hours in front of the screen, while maintaining a balance between physical activity and screen time.
“Just like you prepare your body for physical sports, your mind should be prepared for video gaming,” he said. “You need to train for six to seven hours for a professional level tournament,” he said, adding that he also went to the gym.
Siddique said there is a lot of potential in Pakistan’s gaming industry but lack of opportunities demotivate gamers. He emphasized the need to introduce e-sports in Pakistan and gave the example of the Philippines, where it is treated like a national level game. “You can even see people playing it in airports,” he added.