Brandon Chew, who is by this Editor’s estimation, a fashion-conscious young man, thinks Korean sweatpants are the best fashion trend and that Crocs are the worst. His pet peeve is when towel-free people leave sweat all over gym equipment benches after working out. For fun, he likes to indulge in a good, high-level game of DOTA2, read a book or travel. He also dreams of schools where little rabbits are allowed to do nothing but run all day. Brandon has just completed his third year of our Computer Science programme.
|Brandon with Dendi at The International 4, Seattle, USA.|
Describe your SoC experience.
[I enjoy] meeting like-minded people and being able to build value-adding products rather than solving meaningless coding problems. [What I find most challenging is] doing coding assignments/modules which I have absolutely no interest/aptitude. *Ahem* CS1231 CS3230. [What I find most interesting, however, is] disruptive innovation.
Which faculty made impressions on you?
Aaron - regular Facebook musings always keeps my brain working
Steven Halim - likes to make his modules competitive, which ups the difficulty one notch. Achievement unlocked if you get an A for his modules. Nevertheless, very passionate about whatever he's teaching.
Is there anything you would have done differently during your time here?
I definitely wouldn't have traded the first 2 years where I basically went yolo with school. Totally didn't study, failed a lot of modules while doing professional gaming. It made me fearless of failure and I had a lot of unforgettable experiences. The people I met during those 2 years also changed my life.
I would've started my entrepreneurial journey earlier. I love disruptive innovation and I hope I can change the world with the ideas I have in mind.
What do you think makes your student experience different than that of any other student?
I played Dota 2 professionally. I'm proud about taking the path less travelled.
What do you count as your most significant achievement to date?
Being able to travel around the world to play Dota 2 professionally has got to be the most challenging yet rewarding experience I've had to date. Nothing beats doing what you love and are good at. I chose to pursue it because I'm no respecter of rules and the Singapore education system is one of them. I've been playing Dota for 13 years now. I started in Dota 1 where I just played a lot and got to know the Singapore community. Teamed up with a few dudes and played a few tournaments. For those who know the scene, we always placed behind Scythe.SG and XtC which was a big enough feat back then. I took a hiatus because of army but when I came back I found the same few people I played with and the rest is history. I've been to places I wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to go to without Dota. Sure we had to work really hard with daily training sessions which could last into the wee hours of the night, for up to 5 years, but it was all worth it.
[One of the highlights was] my experience as a spectator at TI5 (The International 5). I was fortunate to have a friend playing in MVP.Phoenix so I basically got everything free minus the air ticket. Sitting in the VIP booth was amazing. Free flow drinks and buffet. Awesome panoramic view of Key Arena. Soaking in an atmosphere of diehard Dota 2 fans. The entire experience is just too amazing. After party was amazinger talking to basically all the personalities and players and getting to know their stories, too bad it was short-lived because I was stupid enough to schedule my flight at 2am that night. I will continue to go to TIs probably till the day I die and hopefully participate in one myself :D
What did you want to be when you were younger? Is that still an interest of yours?
So let me put it this way. What do you think of this life? Go to school get good grades, get into university. Graduate and become a doctor/banker/lawyer. Earn money, get married have kids, watch them grow up, retire and die peacefully. Is that a life worth living? To me, no, that's boring as heck. This quote says it all:
"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for – and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing. It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool – for love – for your dreams – for the adventure of being alive." - Oriah Mountain Dreamer
What is something most people would be surprised to learn about you?
I'm a huge rebel with a strong personality. But at the same time I'm a devout Christian. Don't know whether that will surprise people. Haha
What are your future plans?
Go back to Dota 2 after university. Do a startup. Currently looking to kickstart one of my projects called GymRats. It’s basically a Hungrygowhere/TripAdvisor for gyms and fitness centres in Singapore but with a lot more to it. You can check it out at http://gymrats.sg/