Chaichanok “Nok” Chidchob
Even though his father owns one of the leading football clubs in Thailand, Buriram United, Chaichanok has always been into a very different kind of sport, e-sports to be exact. “It’s somewhat of a borderless sport. You can be a guy, a girl, young, old. You could even lose a limb and still become a professional e-sport player. That’s the charm for me.” The 30-year-old founded Buriram United E-sports just over a year ago, and already the team has placed second in ROV World Championship, second in Southeast Asia and Oceania for PUBG, and eighth in the world for Pro Evolution Soccer. But Chaichanok is prouder of how the team and its success have helped changed Thai society’s previously negative perception of e-sports. He, too, was once viewed as a dek tid game (game-addicted kid). But Chaichanok has also sought life experience beyond gaming and Buriram United. He’s interned Morgan Stanley, joined the military, an experience he called “life-changing” and “eye-opening,” and entered monkhood in memory of his grandmother, a journey that took him from Buriram to India and Nepal. And now in the gaming world, he feels he’s continuing what his father is doing with football, improving the lives of people in Thailand through e-sports.