WELP Tonight: Benjamin Kheng talks romance, snitching, and Overwatch lessons

PHOTO: WELP Tonight / Facebook

The season finale of Welp Tonight got deep into relationships, dating, and the gaming habits of Benjamin Kheng, whose sister and Sam Willows bandmate Narelle appeared on an earlier episode. Besides being an actor and singer, Ben is a multi-instrumentalist, general Renaissance man, and almost became a pro swimmer.

The tenth episode kicked off with Syaza revealing that Ben had actually been playing Overwatch (for the first time) for the past five hours, which Ben described as “the best five hours of [his] year.” For many thirsty Twitch commenters, Welp’s choice of guest was also the best five hours of their lives.

After Ben got thoroughly hosed for ordering a Coke Zero with his dinner, conversation turned to “five things you’d put in your mouth,” with Twitch chat piling on to make fun of Ben for getting the beverage equivalent of “a burger without the buns.” To that we say: Ben is a snack that goes with any kind of drink.

The conversation turned to theatre and acting, where Sezairi and Ben dropped a surprising little nugget of information: that national treasure Gurmit Singh is a hardcore Dota player. Singh brings his laptop to set and plays games while he’s doing makeup, which is pretty much the best use of pre-acting “downtime” we can imagine.

There’s a lot more to Ben than meets the eye: his long standing commitment to Counterstrike, for one, which he says is the only thing that kept him going through sports school. After six hours a day training in the pool, he reminisces about how everyone would pull out their laptops at night and bond over CS. At home, like a true theatre kid, he even used a dynamic mic in lieu of a headset to speak to other players.

In 2014, Ben -- whom we would consider to be an authority on the subject -- claims that no local musicians released any material because everyone was gaming. Sounds about right.

There was a lot of extremely illuminating conversation about illicit romances at sports school. Sports school stereotypes abound -- netball players are somehow at the top of the dating hierarchy, and swimmers only date each other, because they’re “too full of themselves.”

Ben retold a classic tale of how a girl cheated on his friend. It was a known secret that many couples used to spread out on the soccer field for late-night pak tor business. Ben’s friend snitched on this ongoing practice, and got the floodlights turned on, revealing just exactly how sports school teenagers use fresh synthetic turf.

“Ben seems like the couple’s counsellor here, sia,” said one commenter, referring to how Ben managed to get Sezairi and Syaza to talk about their early dating period. This often involved Syaza getting dragged along to the LAN shop to watch Sezairi play Dota, which evolved into them playing Diablo 3 as a couple.

Syaza told a truly adorable anecdote about how their first game “together” was Skyrim -- a single-player game that they turned on at the same time in their respective homes, while glued to their phones to communicate. Ah, the sweet world of pre-Discord romance.

As for Ben, he only really has one bit of criteria for a potential mate — “she’s gotta have a head.” He avoids the “checklist” strategy, because he once dated someone with a checklist, and god knows that’s always a tedious way to approach a relationship.

Which brings us to Overwatch.

During his five hours of pre-show play, it seems that Ben has developed an affinity for Moira and Pharah, though he definitely favoured Moira as a choice throughout every match. Given Moira’s versatility, mobility, and ability to heal, this is a pretty good choice of DPS, although we’re a bit biased on damage-healer combinations as a Zenyatta stan. The only thing more annoying than fighting a Zenyatta is Lucio, who is a living breathing demon on wheels (whom Syaza played briefly during the first match). Everyone hates Bastion, which is the correct and only opinion on the matter.

The final Overwatch match was played by the teams BK Eating House and SG Team Committee, featuring a sweet appearance by the Kamen Rider Genji skin, arguably the best and nerdiest skin in the game. The ultimate winners of the match were the SG Team Committee, who announced they were using the prize to feed their team. Syaza’s imploration to “please feed our national Overwatch team” is a good selling point, especially after they crushed the competition.

The season closed with Ben getting showered in Logitech swag, but what he really wants, in his own words, are Overwatch lessons. We can’t imagine there’s a shortage of people who are eager to teach him. Maybe next season he’ll make a vengeful return — but hopefully not as a Hanzo main.

alexisong@asiaone.com

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