Philippine Penguins do Exist!

Posted by Juelv "Heartz" Cayago at 20 November 2010 12:56
The Filipino DotA Scene has been restless for the past 10 months since Mineski sponsored the biggest LAN tournament in Manila, the AMPGL (Alienware Mineski Pro-Gaming League). This team came to the top, harnessing the best team-play and strategy of which the Philippines is very proud. Let's have a little peek at Team Happyfeet's hideout.

Let us start with who commands the penguins, you are known as "happyfeet-wootz", how do we distinguish you from others?
-"Hi, I’m James Kenneth Valdez, known as JK or Wootz to many. I'm the captain of team HappyFeet (HF). Besides playing Dota, you can see me surfing the net and playing billiards in my spare time. Well, I’m not really good at introducing myself, so I’ll just say, what you see is what you get! Hahaha!"

I suffered my fair share of defeats before I became a member of HF.
For so many famous games in the Philippines, how did you ended up playing DotA?
-"It started when my friend invited me to play a “new” type of game. As a fan of strategy games myself, DotA intrigued me; instantly appealing to me which got me so addicted. During my four years of online gaming, I also participated in various tournaments and suffered my fair share of defeats before I became a member of HF."

Who was your first hero played and who are your favorite heroes?
-"I first played bone clinkz; this hero impressed me with his wind walk skill. As I can remember clearly, I was using the version 6.27b map.
As of now , my favorite heroes would be Earthshaker, Chen, Enigma, Priestess of the Moon, Shadow Fiend, and Queen of Pain. Being the support and the ganker of the team, I love to go around the map and kill! Haha!"

Having a good team and good skills, may we know how many years have you been playing DotA?
-"I’ve been playing for four years. I really enjoyed this game, as you can always create and experiment with new strategies and team plays in every map version."

hf.jpgYou have been counting years with DotA rather than any other game, what is it in dota that you love the most?
-"I love every part of it; farming, ganking, and killing the opposing team’s heroes. But most of all, I love the clash! It has become my habit to set plays and go around the map to start a clash. It’s always been the most exciting part of the game, when going to a 5 on 5 clash and putting it all and of course winning! I love it! Haha!"

You said that you had other experience with a different team before joining your team today, how did you end up in Happyfeet(HF)?
-"Before joining HF, I was part of a team called bearbrand. My current teammates also came from various teams before we were able to come up with this HF team. Just to mention, RR who was a former Pagibig member; John coming from EZ; and Owa who was with me in bearbrand. Our current lineup wasn't always like this, HF1 and HF2 existed first and it was hard for us to get to championships when the MPGL started. After placing as runners up, we decided to reshuffle the entire roster of both teams until we were able to make a solid line up that you see effective today."

Can you give us a taste on who are the penguins behind the top PH team as of today?
James Kenneth ‘Wootz‘ Valdez (Captain) – The drafter, Over-all ganker, Commander, Play-maker, and Energy booster. Awarded and recognized as PH's Best Captain and PH's best support-ganker.
Ralph Richard ‘RR‘ Peñano – Wootz's all time favorite support-ganker tandem. He also loves to go around and kill like he owns the map. Awarded as Ph's best support-ganker in tandem with wootz.
Julius ‘Julz‘ Sto. Domingo – The farmer of the team and Crowned as PH's farmer of the year . He is known for his skill to “magic” items.
Joshua ‘Owa‘ De La Serna - Happyfeet's darkhorse! Watch out for this silent-but-deadly carry of the team.
John ‘Little John‘ Roxas – The team's semi-carry. You can count on him anytime and anywhere, whatever the game situations are.

What do you think is the main reason why happyfeet is the top LAN team in the Philippines today?
-"Honestly, we don’t really spend time practicing all together because of the lack of funds and sponsorship for the team. We have our own style of training; here in the Philippines, DotA is popular when it comes to games with side bet, and we've been roaming around the cities and provinces to compete with other teams in the country. But unfortunately, there were very few teams that we can fight when it comes to games with side bet. Given this circumstance, we usually mix our team with some new players so that other teams will come up and challenge us. We also do some practice with some of the top teams in Ph, but I think it’s the experience with games with side bet and tournaments that made us strong. Because when there is money involved, you will really strive to focus and win the game. Not just for yourself but also for the people who placed their trust on the team."

HF’s trademark and we’re really good at it so we will stick with that strategy.
As of now, it is your first time competing internationally, how are happyfeet's preparations going? Do you think the bottle-crow strategy will still be effective?
-"I think we are ready to compete for SMM. After all the 10 months of tournament in MPGL and other tournaments we’ve been through this year, that would be justifiable to say that we are ready. And with regards to the bottle-crow strategy, it’s HF’s trademark and we’re really good at it so we will stick with that strategy."

What problems do you encounter with regards to SMM?Can you share a bit?
-"The only problem we’re encountering as of now is passport. Most of my team mates are minors and we have trouble getting their DSWD permits and we’ve encountered discrepancies on other requirements to process their passports."

What is your next move incase team Happyfeet will not be complete because of passport problems? will there be a change from the current roster?
-"No plan to change our roster, we are still working on our passports and looking forward to the next opportunity."

What do you expect in one of the biggest LAN Tournaments (SMM) of the year?
-"We are all excited and challenged. It’s our first time to compete internationally and meet most of the top teams in the world. We know that this is the toughest challenge for our team as of now, but we will do our best to give good games and to make our supporters proud."

Bottle-crow haters watch and learn.
Based on your answers, I can feel that there is confidence, is there something that the eSports community should expect out of Pinoy gaming in this event(SMM)?
-"We will prove to them what Pinoy gaming can do best. We will show them what the mighty penguins are capable of, and try our best to be on top. Bottle-crow haters watch and learn. Haha!

Let's see if they can stop Owa and Julz from doing some crazy skilled farming and making "Magic" on their items, or if they can match the RR and Wootz tandem, plus the unstoppable ability of John when it comes to farming and clashing."

there's no turning back.
We had a nice time with you, and GosuGamers would like to wish your team all the luck in your future endeavors, do you have any final shout outs?
-"I would like to thank all Happyfeet fans who supported us all the way. We wouldn't be here if you weren't there.

Hi to my teammates Owa, Julz, John, and Harhar. We can do this, let's not stop dreaming, this is what we all wanted, so there's no turning back. "Tiwala lang" (Happyfeet's motto, meaning "Just Trust")
My sincerest gratitude to our loving managers Edna del Mundo, Jerry de Ocampo, Sir Bei, Jeff Bercasio and Kuya Al.

Greetings to Kristell Lim, Juelv "GG-Heartz" Cayago, Alvin Rillera, Hatred family, Mineski Family, Happyfeet family, and Baliuag Boys. Lots of love to the girl who gives me inspiration, Milcah Angelica Cristina Dacanay(PMSki.anGeL).

Special thanks to team for giving our team such a unique opportunity!"