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Dr Yew Weng Keng defeated Thailand’s Werit Popan 3-1 in the final in San Juan yesterday. BERNAMA PIC

ACADEMICIAN Dr Yew Weng Keng, a PhD holder in electronic engineering, is now the King of Hearthstone in Southeast Asia.

The 29-year-old defeated a host of eSports junkies to win the Sea Games gold medal in Hearthstone, an online digital card game originally subtitled Heroes of Warcraft.

He defeated Thailand’s Werit Popan 3-1 in the final in San Juan yesterday.

Weng Keng, an assistant professor of Heriot-Watt University Malaysia in Putrajaya, is known in the Malaysian eSports community as wkyew90.

He 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 eSports champion in the Sea Games,” said Weng Keng after the medal presentation yesterday.

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

“It is the world’s fastest-growing sport and I hope parents will not see it as a bad thing as electronic games can actually help a person think more strategically and critically.

“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 a living proof that one can excel both in eSports and studies.”

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

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