Lately, Gen-maestro Xian has been going around tournaments with the prefix DM on his name. He’s also been insisting on being mentioned as DM.Xian in any stories or interviews. Just what is this ‘DM’ prefix, and what does it stand for?
Team DM is short for Team Desperation Move, a home-grown Singaporean team for fighting game players. Founded by Lenn Yang, Alfred Hu and Ogawa Ryuju, it pays out of its own pocket for its members to go further in the international fighting game scene.
Lenn is undoubtedly the mouthpiece and leader of the team, while Alfred takes care of the team’s administrator affairs. Ogawa’s purview is all things technical, and he takes care of the team’s social media activities. Apart from the men behind the scenes, there are also three players on the team roster.
Ho Kun Xian, or DM.Xian, was signed first. Samantha Lee, now known professionally as DM.Sam, came next. Zhi, of CrossCounter Asia fame, is also onboard as a partially sponsored player. DM.Zhi gets travel allowances and flight sponsorships for filming CrossCounter Asia. Team DM is also planning to recruit Claw player Raymus next, who is also a Soul Calibur champion.
They sound like a fully-fledged professional team, but would you have guessed that Team DM is less than a year old, and was actually founded through a quick meeting on the couch at Tough Cookie Gaming Café?
Lenn and Ogawa had ‘The Talk’ with DM.Xian only at the end of last year.
“I realised [Xian] was quite a down to earth person… I feel he’s a guy I can really get along with without going through any kind of persona management,” Lenn told us. “Everything just came naturally.” And that was when he knew DM.Xian would be the team’s first player.
DM.Sam – Samantha – was brought to Team DM’s attention one night in Bugis, when Lenn happened to be at the arcade.
“My first thoughts were that she had very good fundamentals, and she was very good at those 1-2 frame combos,” he said, on first seeing Samantha play. Even so, getting a hold of her was difficult, as Lenn had yet to be involved with the fighting game community then. It took a wild Sonic, and later, Xian, to get Sam onboard.
Now that Team DM is set to go with three players (you can’t just have Xian and not Zhi) and one more on the way, Lenn’s long-term goal is to have his players recognised beyond their trophies, medals and critical acclaims.
“Once you get acknowledged,” Lenn explained, “people get interested in what you’re up to, what you’re doing aside from playing games.”
He went on to say that it took many years of playing for Daigo to reach such a level of reverence within the community. And if Daigo could do it, then perhaps so could Team DM. If the DM players could get to just half of the recognition that Daigo gets…“this will be a huge improvement,” Lenn added.
And with DM.Xian, DM.Zhi and DM.Sam set to rock the EVO 2k12 stage, there couldn’t be a better platform at a better time for the team to prove their mettle. We wish them success!