Xian met girlfriend Jen Tan while playing Street Fighter at an arcade Image: Xian Kun Ho
Xian Kun Ho aka Razer Xian started playing video games when he was just 6 or 7 years old, but back then, little did he know that what started off as a passion for fighting games would one day not only make him world famous but also help him find the love of his life.
To anyone wondering about Xian's identity, the 27-year-old lad from Singapore is one of the finest Street Fighter and King of Fighters gamers in the world currently. Xian, who is sponsored by famous gaming peripheral company Razer now, is the perfect rags to riches story in the gaming world.
Xian spent his childhood in a one bedroom flat with his father, mother and an older brother and his only connect to gaming was an arcade in his neighbourhood. He used to enter the arcade with 2 Singapore dollar and his will to keep on playing kept improving his game because as long as he kept on winning, he could continue playing. In 2009, Xian represented Singapore at the DreamHack gaming festival in Sweden and got 2nd place at the festival which made him contemplate taking up gaming as a profession but his family and friends were not supportive as it was just after his National Service and he was without a job.
"I started gaming when I was 6-7 years old. Initially, I played all kinds of fighting games. After completing secondary school, I did odd jobs like lifting cargo and working as an assistant for a hawker before he enlisted for National service," he said.
But help arrived in form of Lenn Yang, a casual but passionate gamer, who was impressed by Xian's talent and decided to sponsor him. Yang recognized Xian's raw talent and was convinced the prodigy could establish Singapore on the eSports map.
Xian's love for Street Fighter brought him about another miracle in his life in 2010, when he met Jen Tan, a tattoo artist and a gamer. Xian saw her playing Street Fighter at an arcade and started talking. Soon their common love for the gaming penned the opening verses of a real love story- Xian and Tan's. Jen's presence and love for the same game managed to add a new dimension to Xian's life. "It definitely helps that she plays games as well. She is so cool, just sitting there and watching me practice," Xian said.
Xian kept on establishing himself in the fighting games community and became world famous after he won the 2013 Evolution Championship Series in Las Vegas, besting a whopping 1,600 players from around the world. In 2014 Razer signed him as an eSport athlete and gradually, he went on to become the most successful gamer from Singapore till date, having won numerous titles in Street Fighter and King of Fighters and has played in more than 20 countries.
Xian, who will be a top draw in the upcoming Street Fighter World Championships, said, "Right now I usually practice at least 6 hours a day before world championship. I use the Razer Panthera Fight Stick and favourite character to play with is Gen."
When asked if he had any advise for youngsters looking to live the gamer's dream like he did, Xian encouraged going all out in order to realise ones aspirations but also reiterated the importance of a fall back just in case. "One tip I would give a young gamer would be, if you really wanna pursue your dreams, never give up. But make backup plans at the same time , with passion and hard work. One day you will make it," he signed off.