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DAY 1: MERGING PAST AND POTENTIAL

A plate of chicken rice
1 Golden Mile Food Centre

Fuel up with a breakfast (or early lunch) of champions with a visit to Golden Mile Food Centre. Xian recommends eating his favourite pre-game dish of Hainanese boneless chicken rice, which is his “go-to meal” that he eats before travelling overseas for competitions.

Xian and friend playing a handheld game console in Retro Nutz
2 Retro Nutz

Xian spent his youth playing retro games in arcades; to experience nostalgia reminiscent of the professional gamer’s formative years, drop by Retro Nutz, in the Rochor neighbourhood. This vintage game store stocks a range of old-school games, handheld video game consoles like Game Boy, and memorabilia from the good old days of arcades.

Interior shot of Play Nation
3 Selegie

A neighbourhood that holds fond memory for Xian, Selegie is home to gaming cafes, LAN shops and various communal gaming establishments.

“My friend and I started a gaming cafe together called Tough Cookie Gaming Café,” Xian reminisces. “We used to stream games, shoot publicity videos and train there. It was like a training ground for me.”

While Tough Cookie Gaming Café has since closed its doors, the neighbourhood is still a great place to explore. LAN Cafes like Big O and Clique Gaming will give you the chance to engage in a bout of friendly competition with a host of online games, while those interested in traditional card and board games can visit either Mind Café or Play Nation.

Xian at *SCAPE Youth Park
4 *SCAPE

In the afternoon, make a transition from nostalgic haunts to spaces that exemplify potential with a trip to Singapore’s premier shopping belt, Orchard Road. This stretch of world-class malls is home to *SCAPE Youth Park, a lifestyle hub that brings together retail, sports facilities, rehearsal studios and various youth-themed events.

Day 2: GETTING IN ON THE ACTION

People playing at Adventure Cove waterpark
1 Sentosa Island

It’s not all work and no play for the champ. When Xian needs to unwind from his gruelling practice schedule, he spends time with friends on the island resort of Sentosa. Accessible via boardwalk, cable car or tram from VivoCity, this island off Singapore’s southern coast is home to a range of adrenaline-inducing activities.

Spend the day experiencing aquatic thrills and spills at Adventure Cove Waterpark™ , an aquatic amusement park that ranks as one of Xian’s favourite attractions on the island. Alternatively, you can push the limits of your bravery on the flying fox and bungy jump at AJ Hackett Sentosa, or get your heart racing with the movie-themed rides at Universal Studios Singapore™.

A bowl A Noodle Story’s signature noodles
2 Amoy Street Food Centre

“I’m really proud of Singapore’s food because it’s both amazing and affordable,” Xian says. “You can have a really good meal at our hawker centres and coffee shops.” To experience the sheer variety of Singaporean cuisine, grab dinner from Amoy Street Food Centre, one of Xian’s favourite hawker centres. Foodies should definitely try the Singapore-style ramen served up at A Noodle Story, a stall that’s been clinching Michelin Bib Gourmand nods since 2016.

Xian gaming at NINETEEN80 arcade machine
3 NINETEEN80

Spend the night with a retro-themed throwback to the golden age of arcade gaming at NINETEEN80. Located in the bustling neighbourhood of Tanjong Pagar, this arcade-pub celebrates nostalgia with its old-school arcade games, neon-lit décor and retro tunes from resident DJs. “NINETEEN80 has a really great concept. I really like places that allow you to eat, drink and game at the same time,” Xian enthuses. “You should try [the retro arcade game] Puzzle Bobble for sure!”

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