22 Nov 08 in The Star: Roses among the thorns

28 11 2008

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THEY might look like the cute, young groupies of some big team at the SMM Grand National Final DotA Tournament (SGNDT). But beneath all that sugar, spice and everything nice, these five girls are actually part of one of the most famous gaming clans in the world.

Pandora’s Mighty Soldiers (PMS) is a professional female gaming group that has teams all over the world, on various types of consoles as well as computers, and PMS Nyx of Singapore is one of the latest additions to their stable of deadly ladies.

Cynthia Sta Maria, the team’s most senior player, explained how their team was selected to play DotA under the PMS banner.

“We were playing an online competition, and they noticed us. They asked if we were interested in joining them, and now we’re their first Asian DotA team,” she said.

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(From left) Kimberlyn See, Cassandra Chan, Nema Nair, Cynthia Sta Maria and Lim Jia Yi of Singapore-based Team PMS Nyx, one of two all-girl teams at the SMM Grand National DotA Tournament.

Though they won their first match, an exhibition game against another all-girl team, the five students didn’t fare too well in the group stages of the tournament proper and were eliminated.

Cynthia, for one, won’t deny that the guys have a natural advantage when it comes to gaming.

“The guys are obviously better, because they have nothing else to do but play! They can just eat, sleep and play for as long as they want. But we can’t! We have to go shopping!” said Cynthia.

Her teammate Cassandra added: “But that’s pretty much all we do as well – we eat, sleep, study, play and shop. And oh yeah, we have our boyfriends.”

However, Kimberlyn See, 17, has an ex-boyfriend to thank for introducing her to the game, though she did feel like the guys constantly underestimated her.

“I started playing because I found it interesting watching him play. But the guys do tend to look down on girls. We were once playing a WCG (World Cyber Games) match against a male team, and they drafted four carriers and one catcher. It felt like they were being complacent because carriers only grow stronger later in the game. But we ended up beating them,” said Kimberlyn.

As for the attention that comes with being an all-girls group at a gaming competition, they prefer to just ignore it.

“I don’t think I get any guys interested in me anyway,” said Kimberlyn. “It’s a good thing too, because we’re not here for the popularity. We’re here to play.”

“Except for (teammate Lim) Jia Yi maybe,” added Cassandra. “She’s still single and available!”

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