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TEST YOURSELF: Game on

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Meet Thailand’s e-sport hopeful at the 30th SEA Games

Test Yourself is where you can improve your reading skills. Whether it’s for tests like University Entrance Exams or IELTS and TOEFL, or even just for fun, these stories help you to read, understand and improve your English.

You can download a PDF of this story to be used in class or at home. Click the link below.

Read the following story by Yvonne Bohwongprasert from the Bangkok Post. Then, answer the questions that follow.

With over a decade's experience in e-sports, Nopparut Hempamorn is one of Thailand's most promising gold medal hopefuls for the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, taking place in the Philippines this year.

SEA GAMES DEBUT

The Bangkok-born 23-year-old has in the last couple of years shown enormous promise at global tournaments, winning the Thaiger Uppercut Championships in Bangkok last year, coming second at the IESF World Championship 2017 and fifth at the 2018 EVO Championships.

E-sports is making its debut at the 2019 SEA Games, with six gold medals up for grabs, which will be split across three gaming methods -- two for PC, two for mobile, and two for console. Nopparut will be playing the console game Tekken 7. His biggest challenge will come from host country Philippines, which is favoured to win.

"I’m honestly not under any pressure to win, because what matters for me most is that I give it my all," remarked Nopparut. "I’ve played under far greater pressure than regional tournaments, so I’m very confident to win because of the tactics I’ve cultivated through the years. I’ve had the opportunity to play against some top talents.

EARLY DAYS

Nopparut was first introduced to video games when he was 14. 

"I was waiting to buy movie tickets when I saw a video game at an amusement arcade close by. I found the graphics to be very unique and real; there was also much more interaction between the characters. Then I was competing with some of the best players from malls across Bangkok. Each mall has a top contender, and so we often played against each other."

Ever since then, he’s been on a roll, despite going through a phase of online gaming addiction.

"I once reached a stage where I’d had enough of gaming. What made me continue was the competitive drive in me. So when this element is not present, I don't feel the urge to play."

What he enjoyed about e-sports was the structured format of the multiplayer video-game competitions, particularly when it came to playing individually against talents who would give him a run for his money.

Prior to setting off to prove his sporting talent, he had to first convince his mother that his passion for e-sports would not interfere with his education. After completing high school, he decided to study computer engineering at Kasetsart University.

TIPS AND TRICKS

"I’ve always competed against players who are much older than myself. In the beginning they didn’t view me as serious competition. However, not so long after that they found that to win against me they had to put in a lot of effort. Looking back, I feel my competitiveness arises from the days when I played at the malls. There was always someone better than me, so I had to practise a lot to have that competitive edge over them."

Nopparut practises two to three hours daily prior to competitions such as the SEA Games. 

"I train by myself, using YouTube matches of both my own and of my competitors."

Offering advice for players hoping to follow in his footsteps, he said, "Work toward reaching your goals. While working towards them, have a backup plan for your future while you pursue an education. Last, but not least, be real about your chances of making it."

Section 1: Read through the story and answer the following questions. 

1. How old is Nopparut? …………….

2. In which year did he win a global competition? …………….

3. He feels the most pressure in regional tournaments. True or false? …………….

4. He first played video games when he was a teenager. True or false? …………….

5. He enjoyed competing against players who are very good. True or false?  …………..

6. Most of his competitors are younger than him. True or false? …………….

7. He trains alone. True or false? …………….

8. He thinks education is important. True or false? …………….

Section 2: Match the phrases with the correct definition. 

9. up for grabs a. to make someone try very hard to beat you

10. give something your all b. available for anyone who is interested

11. to be on a roll c. to be experiencing a period of success

12. a run for their money d. to do the same thing as someone else

13. follow in someone’s footsteps e. to try as hard as you can

Section 3: Read the following passage. Then, fill in the blanks with the correct words from the choices given.

Nopparut was …14… 17 when he got the chance to compete in Singapore. He won, but received prize money that …15… covered his expenses, so his mother stepped in …16… to support him.

The overseas …17… helped him grow from strength to strength as a player. Just a few months later, he was selected to compete on …18… of Thailand at the global championships in South Korea, …19… he finished in second place.

14. a. around  b. over c. exactly

15. a. even b. fully c. barely

16. a. previously b. initially c. entirely

17. a. victory b. winning  c. winner 

18. a. request b. behalf  c. team

19. a. where b. so c. how

Section 4: Find words that match the following definitions.

20. difficulties and feelings of stress caused by the need to achieve ……………

21. a person who takes part in a competition ……………

22. trying very hard to be better than others ……………

23. to prevent something from succeeding …………

24. a slight advantage ……………

Answers: 1. 23. 2. 2018. 3. False. 4. False. 5. True. 6. False. 7. True. 8. True. 

9. b. 10. e. 11. c. 12. a. 13. d.

14. a. 15. c. 16. b. 17. a. 18. b. 19. a. 

20. pressure. 21. contender. 22. competitive. 23. interfere. 24. edge.

SCORE 21-24: Excellent! 17-20: Good.   13-16: Fair.   12 or fewer: You'll do better next time!


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