Engineering PhD Holder Wins Malaysia's First Ever E-Sports Gold Medal In The SEA Games

Yew hopes his win will dispel any thoughts of electronic games being addictive.

Cover image via Bernama/theSundaily & Instagram @syedsaddiq

Dr Yew Weng Kean, an electrical engineering PhD holder, has made history as Malaysia's first ever e-sports athlete to win a gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (2019 SEA Games)

Also known in the Malaysian e-sports community as wkyew90, Dr Yew is an assistant professor at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia in Putrajaya.

The 29-year-old bagged the gold in 'Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft' - an online two-player card game - by overthrowing Thailand's Werit Popan 3-1 in the finals, reported theSundaily.

Despite an earlier setback, he made it all the way to the grand finals

According to, Dr Yew had lost to Singapore in the first round of the Hearthstone playoffs but made a comeback by defeating representatives from Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore in the losers bracket to finally come back up in the finals to face Popan.

A screenshot of Hearthstone.

Image via Blizzard/Forbes

As an academician, Dr Yew hopes his win will dispel any thoughts of electronic games being addictive

"This gold medal is meaningful not only for me but for Malaysia as I am the country's first e-sports champion in the SEA Games," he said, as quoted by New Straits Times, after the medal presentation on Monday, 9 December.

"I feel so happy, and I hope my win will encourage more Malaysians to be involved in e-sports. Its popularity is growing and it will continue to evolve. Nobody can stop its growth."

He believes e-sports is the world's fastest-growing industry and hopes that parents will not see it as a bad thing

"Electronic games can actually help a person think more strategically and critically," he said, according to Stadium Astro.

"These are skills needed to progress in life. However, children who love electronic games should also balance it up by giving equal focus to their studies and also practise a healthy lifestyle.

"If you focus only on electronic games, you will not be successful. I am a PhD holder, and I am living proof that one can excel both in e-sports and studies," he added.

Image via

E-sports made its debut at the SEA Games this year, becoming a medal event for the first time at an Olympic-recognised multi-sport competition

According to New Straits Times, there were six golds up for grabs through 'Mobile Legends: Bang Bang', 'Tekken 7', 'Starcraft II', 'Hearthstone', 'Arena of Valor', and 'Dota 2'.

On Sunday, 8 November, Malaysia also won a bronze in 'Mobile Legends: Bang Bang' through Ahmad Ali Huzaif Abdullah, Abdul Wandi Abdul Kadir, Jamil Nurolla, Izme Haqeem Hamsjid, and Hazeem Onn.

In October, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that the government will allocate RM20 million to grow the local e-sports scene:

Here were other athletes who have made us proud during the 2019 SEA Games:

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