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Published: March 24, 2022

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Talon Esports CEO explains how the first Warcraft influenced him and his career choices
  • He recalled vivid memories of playing the game in IT class in school
  • Warcraft thought him many things he later applied when creating his esports team

Sean Zhang Xiao Yi, co-founder and CEO of Talon Esports, explained how Warcraft: Orcs & Humans positively influenced his career and business.

A Game Worth Playing

Video games can have a larger effect than just providing one with entertainment for a few hours. They can often be a way for one to express oneself, to build a career, to create, to compete. It’s been proven countless times that games and esports can be a profitable career path for many. Such seems to be the case for Sean Zhang Xiao Yi, co-founder and CEO of Talon Esports, Hong Kong’s leading professional esports team.

In a recent interview for Post Magazine, Zhang revealed how Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (1994) influenced him and pushed him on his successful path. “I would have been in grade seven, in my early teens, in Australia,” Zhang started his story, before explaining how his IT teacher had the game installed on the school PC and passed around a floppy disk, showing everyone how to play.

The Talon Esports CEO later explained how his first computer was a 486, which was how he first got exposed to gaming. “Back then, we had dial-up internet, so playing online was very hard,” Zhang says. “The chance to play on a local LAN (a local-area network), like we did at school, was so rare.” Despite the encountered difficulties, he said this is what drove his interest in gaming and computers, and technology in general.

 “I started by watching my classmates play, and then started to play myself,” Zhang continued his story. He said what he really liked about the game was the competitive aspect, mentioning he had played a lot of competitive sports at school, but never electronic ones. “I’d been a gamer my whole life, but never at this level of sophistication.”

Zhang continued by saying he liked the different paths and approaches you could take. With having to gather resources, survive, and attack opponents, there was a wealth of information to take in, which was “overwhelming, but there was also a lot of excitement.” The CEO said he and his friends often tried to get their work done quickly, they could spend a few more minutes at the end of class playing. “It was kind of addictive.”

Zhang explained that the competitiveness he learned in Warcraft helped him do well in other competitive games. He added that this also helped him when he and co-founder Jarrold Tham started their esports team.

When asked if he still enjoys Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Zhang answered positively. “I have friends from school that I’m still in touch with, and we still game together.”

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