Beho: 'Filipino all the way!'
The Filipinos are in full force this weekend at the April edition of the Gigabyte eSports Tournament. Led defending champions MSIEvoGT, the heat is on as manager Arvin "Beho" Risos discusses the state of the DotA scene in the Philippines and his team's shot at GEST April in a GosuGamers exclusive.
At GEST March, MSIEvoGT completed a near perfect run bagging the championship title. What do you think was the reason behind your team's success?
-"We practiced a lot before the tournament, and also because GMPGL in the Philippines allows top teams in our country to get very good practice against one another."
Yes, talking about GMPGL, your team regrettably fell short of making the playoffs. Where do you think MSIEvoGT went wrong that day?
-"Honestly, competing locally and internationally is really different. We focused so much adjusting to international gameplay that we have a hard time adjusting back to local gameplay. Another reason is that many Philippine teams are improving drastically - but we are planning to win this month's MPGL. *smiles*"
If you had to rank the top three teams in the Philippines as well as the top three teams in SEA, how would you rank them? Or maybe the top three teams in SEA belong to the Philippines?
-"In Philippines: Mineski, MSIEvoGT, iZONE125
In South East Asia: Mineski, MSIEvoGT, Orange."
From what I understand, Orange are one of the more well known international teams in the Philippines even among the pro gaming teams. What is the relationship between the Filipino gaming community and Orange like? Are you personally friends with any of the Orange players?
-"Filipinos are big fans of Orange, especially Mushi. Last year, they had a 'Mushifest' as an MPGL event (see), and last month they came back to participate in MPGL 4.3. Everyone tried to snag a picture with team Orange.
We've played with them a lot while they were here but I'm not a personal friend with anyone of them."
I'm not sure if you have heard anything about this, but there are rumors that Wootz has left Mineski. How do you think this will affect the team? Would you still rank Mineski as the best team in the Philippines and SEA?
-"I've heard about this. I think it is very hard for a team to lose their captain, and losing Wootz would really affect the team, but then again let's see how can they adjust and who will replace Wootz in Mineski's lineup.
If Wootz leaves the team, they are still a team to beat in Philippines and SEA but not like before. Maybe not on the top. Maybe we can replace them. *smiles*"
Is there a player (Filipino or International) that you particularly look up to? Personally, how long have you been in the gaming scene?
-"Of course it would be Ronald 'Rhom' Robins ('father of Filipino DotA'). He put Philippines on the map of the international gaming community. I've been playing DotA for the past five years. I played in tournaments since MPGL started a couple of years ago.
After a few months of playing at MPGL, I began to switch between being a player and a manager. Right now I rarely play, and I only play if someone's late or a not able to play. I play practice games with the team every day though, discovering new strategies and new heroes."
Five years is a long time! How would you form your Filipino dream team?
-"I'm very comfortable with my current line up now. Kimo and Paty are two of the best supports in the country. Doc and Doa are well rounded players, and we have a new addition to our team, Fernando "Nando" Mendoza. He's a 13 year old player that I think will complete my dream team. *smiles*"
Another Santino (see)? *grins*
-"Yes. I think he will be better than Santino."
The spotlight is slowly but increasingly shifting towards the Philippines after SMM 2011 and with two championship titles at GEST. Why do you think this is so? Did the Pinoys suddenly decide to play awesome DotA or have they been doing it correctly all these while and we're only realizing it now?
-"It's only now that we are getting the chance to compete internationally. We have been playing good ever since the beginning but we never got the chance or the money to go to other countries to compete internationally.
Players now are lucky that there are companies that support Filipino players to show off our talent. Also, there are increasing numbers of online tournaments that we can join now."
Last month, your team (and Filipino teams in general) made heavy use of heroes like Templar Assassin, Nerubian Assassin and Naga Siren. Let's use these three heroes as examples. Where do you think their strengths lie?
-"Templar Assassin - very good mid laner, getting an early dagger will allow you to conhtrol the map and eventually control the game.
Nerubian Assassin - in the last version, one of the skills was modified to the Scarab ability which can cast multiple chain silence. You can force team engages very early on and the silence in clashes is really annoying. It's also good in trilanes.
Naga Siren - we use her as a support hero. She can do a lot in clashes, but we pick her because of her ultimate, Song of the Siren. We initiate with the ultimate in team clashes, then we can set up and take advantage of the fight. She can also be used to escape in case we lose in clashes."
Are these heroes still popular in the Philippine scene? Have new heroes popped up (like Rubick)?
-"Naga Siren is still a top ban along with Templar Assassin which is also banned most of the time. There are some heroes that are being used now like Rubick and Wisp.
Great, I'm looking forward to seeing these heroes this weekend. Last month, right before the grand finals, XctN was picked up by MSI Evolution Gaming. How did this sponsorship come about? Did it have anything to do with XctN's placing at GEST?
-"They had already contacted us about it, but made no formal offers. Maybe GEST had something to do with it, but they contacted us before the finals and told us to use their name - just like that. *smiles*"
I see. Let's talk about your group. How would you evaluate the other three teams? (Trust, Ritter and Skynet)
-"We don't know much about Ritter and Skynet. Trust is a good team, but we have respect for every team in the tournament. They must be good to compete in this tournament. We will just watch their replays and see what happens this weekend."
For this month's GEST, are you personally a Filipino fanboy all the way or have any international SEA teams impressed you with their playstyle? (well, apart from Orange)
-"Filipino all the way!"
*grins* How long do you think it will take for the Filipino scene to move on to Dota 2?
-"We're playing now, but I think it will take us a year to be competitive enough to battle with Europe or China."
Alright, before I let you do your shoutouts, I have one final question - please fill in the blanks: " ______ bus yan! _______ Doc, DoA, Nando, Leumik, Jyc."
-"GEST bus yan! Good job Doc, DoA, Nando, Leumik, Jyc."
Nice. Final shoutouts?
-"Thanks to MSI to Roro, we're grateful for what you have done. Salamat sa tropang cyberlab. Salamat sa MET. Thanks to GosuGamers for this interview and thanks to everyone who supports our team, including the haters (kimo). Bus yan!"
MSIEvoGT will play their opening match against Trust at 06:00 CET. Click here to place your GosuBets.
Angelo 'Doc / 8D' Docosin
PJ 'DoA / 12' Bondal
Fernando 'Nando' Mendoza
Kimuel 'LeumiK / 17' Rodis
Patrick 'JyC / 19' Pascua