One week ago, history happened. Singapore’s first ever BarCraft — a gathering to watch StarCraft II in a bar or pub — went down at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub in Boat Quay. I spoke with Alexandre “Frogmite” Dumont (pictured) to learn more about the person and the motivations behind the event.
I’m Alex, I’m a StarCraft II player. I originally come from France, but I’m living in Singapore now, so I’m quite new to the StarCraft II community in SEA. I do a lot of casting for local competitions, from low tier league matches to higher tier league matches.
Were you into esports even back in France, before you came to Singapore?
I was not at all into esports. I’m just a standard StarCraft II player, and I’m very passionate about the game like everyone else. In France, I played StarCraft: Brood War, but just with friends. After I came to Singapore for work, StarCraft II was released and I bought the game and found that I really, really loved the game. For me, it’s one of the best games ever created.
On StarCraft II
What do you like about StarCraft II?
I think this game is very even. Every race is different, the three races have got very different advantages and drawbacks. So we see people playing different races, and some how it matches who they are, how they feel, how they act. But the game is still the same for everyone. Whatever race you choose, you still have as many chances to win as the guy who plays another race.
So you feel that the race a person picks is a reflection of themselves?
Yes, it’s a kind of a reflection of who you are. Myself, I play Terran, because Terran is a very defensive race. It’s a race where you go slowly, but surely. You don’t have good production capacity, so you must not lose units. When you play Terran, for example, your interest is in massing units, defending and then moving out to attack. And it’s a race that when you make a choice, you can still go back. It’s not like Protoss, where if you go directly for air units it’s very difficult to change to play a different kind of unit.
Is that the kind of person you are? Defensive and cautious?
You can say that, haha. I think most people play Terran because they identify with Terrans. Just like when I played WarCraft III, I played Human. When I play a video game I want to feel like I could be one of [the game’s characters]. So yeah, I could be the general of this Terran army. I don’t identify with Protoss or Zerg.
Let’s go back to StarCraft. Tell us more about why you’re so passionate about the game.
What makes the game beautiful is that there is no “truth” to the game; there is no single winning strategy. There is a metagame that is always evolving. When you watch a game, you cannot know who will win, because even if a very, very good player goes for one strategy, his opponent can pick the perfect counter-strategy and still win the game even if he doesn’t play as well.
And you don’t only need good strategy, you need skill as well; you need to move your units correctly, you need to attack the right units, you need to make good choices. It’s a fight of skill and judgement, about who thinks the best, who acts the best. That’s what makes the game interesting, and I think that’s why there are a lot of people passionate about this game.
About Singapore’s first BarCraft
What inspired you to organise BarCraft in Singapore?
When I saw what was being done in Singapore for StarCraft II, I felt it was not enough. For me StarCraft II is one of the best games ever created and I felt it needed more attention, it needed more events. There was a need to grow the community to a larger size than what it is now. That’s why I stepped in and tried to organise something.
Why organise a BarCraft then?
When you play an online game, you can make really good friends with the people you are playing with online without ever meeting them. And I think you are missing something there. To improve the experience of StarCraft, you need to have events in real life. For example, if you make StarCraft II events inside a bar, you will meet the people you usually play with. The next time you log on to the game, you will say, “Hey man, how are you since we met at this bar“. And I’ll know that you’re 25 years old or that you are the very tall guy I had a chat with over drinks. I think this really improves the experience of StarCraft for players.
How has the turn out been?
I really like the fact that there is a great turn up tonight. I was expecting maybe 20, maximum 30 people. There are like maybe 60 persons tonight at the bar, and it’s very difficult to imagine that there are really so many people willing to come into a bar on a Saturday night to watch StarCraft games and talk about them. There is no room inside the bar any more, people are even standing outside of the bar, watching the game from outside.
A lot of people thought that it was impossible to make this happen in Singapore. I’m very, very happy that it can happen and I hope that we’ll have more and more events like this that will help develop the community by letting people meet each other.
Once again, I think that’s the problem with online games: you don’t really know who you are playing with. As soon as you know who you are playing with, you’ll start to make friends. And when you have a lot of friends, you develop your experience of the game. That’s what I’m trying to do, trying to make events to put people together.
What’s next for you, after this BarCraft then?
I will try to make more regular events, more BarCrafts, more LAN events, to bring all the people together.
What I finally hope is that before I leave, people will step up and continue what I’m to do, because I will not stay in Singapore forever. I’m just here for work. The day that someone comes to me and says, “OK, I will do what you are doing“, will be the day I have succeeded. From what I see at today’s BarCraft, I think it’s really possible.
Don’t forget to check out our recap and photos from Singapore’s first BarCraft.