In news stories you weren’t expecting to read today, I’m happy to announce that yes, a team of Buddhist monks have indeed won an Esports tournament in Thailand, and everything is cool in the world.
The triumphant team consisted of monks studying at Balee Sathit Suksa (a school in the northeastern province of Thailand) who won the tournament at Khon Kaen University’s Nong Khai campus, as you do.
While this news from World of Buzz on its own is quite wholesome, it becomes even more so when you realise that the team were rank outsiders, not given a fighting chance of winning the thing.
Kokkiad Chaisamchareonlap, the school’s academic coordinator and head monk said “the novices wanted to try entering the competition, so we gave them that opportunity. However, we didn’t expect them to actually win.”
During their studies the monks undertook a course in computers and ended up catching the Esports bug. This lead them to compete in the mobile game Speed Drifters competition during their free time.
The young monks study religion for 20 hours a day, and spend the rest of their time engaging in more normal educational pursuits, but the fact they accepted their prizes in their traditional dharma robes, upset some.
Chaisamchareonlap has little time for these complaints though, stating “the novices are just children, like other people their age that need to grow, develop their skills and explore their interests…. we wanted to give the students an opportunity. A lot of them don’t have that coming from poor families or broken homes.”
While congratulations are definitely in order, there’s sadly no news on if the winning team have plans to enter the next Dreamhack event, but I don’t think they’ve said they haven’t either, so, take from that what you will.
Mark is the Gaming Editor for UNILAD. Having grown up a gaming addict, he’s been deeply entrenched in culture and spends time away from work playing as much as possible. Mark studied music at University and found a love for journalism through going to local gigs and writing about them for local and national publications.