Neon Esports is a Filipino Dota 2 squad which qualified for the ONE Esports Dota 2 SEA League by winning the second tournament qualifier where it defeated PG Barracx, 496 Gaming, and Motivate.Trust Gaming.
ONE Esports caught up with Neon Esports’ Erin Jasper “Yopaj” Ferrer and discussed the team’s journey leading up to the ONE Esports Dota 2 SEA League.
ONE Esports: What was it like when you finally turned pro and competed in local level tournaments?
Yopaj: It was impactful for me. It gave me a lot of experience as a player. It was my first time to join a big tournament here in the Philippines. It was a valuable experience for me.
How were you scouted by Neon Esports which led to you joining their roster?
I had a neighbor in Davao who urged me to try out for the team. So, I tried out for the team and they liked how I played.
What can you say about your time with Neon Esports thus far?
As of now, I’ve noticed that we’ve been steadily improving. I’ve learned a lot from my time being with the team because the players of Neon — they’re not just random players. Especially with their strats in Dota 2. Before, I didn’t experience that; I only got to experience this type of play with Neon Esports.
Andrei “skem” and Prieme Ejay PlayHard” Maque are well-known pros in the Philippine Dota 2 scene. What have you learned from them during your time with Neon Esports?
I’m thankful. They have so many thoughts and strategies for the game. And their attitude and mindset is something I’ve adopted, too.
You and Jaunuel “Jaunuel” Arcilla are the youngest members of Neon Esports. From the perspective of up-and-coming talents, what are your veteran teammates like?
What I can say is that I’m still new; they’re still guiding us because they have more experience than Jaunuel and I. When they tell us we did something wrong, or when they scold us, we accept that as their opinion.
In your opinion, what can Neon Esports do to improve its game? What aspects would you guys like to focus on to improve?
For me, communication. Since we only play online with one of our teammates — skem –, we haven’t been able to practice together.
Aren’t you guys together in a team house?
No, it’s just us three (Yopaj, PlayHard, and Jaunuel) who are playing in the team house. And, skem only joined the team at the time we were set to play in the ONE Esports Dota 2 SEA League qualifier.
So, you guys didn’t practice leading up to the qualifier?
We did not. The tournament qualifier became our practice session.
During the first qualifier, you faced Motivate.Trust Gaming early in the tournament and were eliminated. What did you learn from your opponents?
I would say their playstyle. They were very dependent on their hard carry role. So, we decided to go do the same and drafted a hard carry hero that could keep up with their farm.
Did you feel pressured once you faced them again during the qualifier final?
Not at all. We felt more pressure during the first qualifier because it was only a best-of-one. In the second qualifier, we reached the top 4. With the games being best-of-three, we felt no pressure at all.
In your first game, you lost. Did this pressure you in any way? Because you guys made such an amazing comeback in the second game.
I have a feeling there was [pressure], but just a bit. We felt relaxed after a while. We thought we’d just make up [for the loss] in the second game, and we simply did our best.
For the ONE Esports SEA League, what do you think of your opposing teams? Which teams would you want to go up against?
Probably Fnatic, because in [Southeast Asia] they always win. They seem to be difficult to beat.
As a team, what are your expectations in the ONE Esports Dota 2 SEA League tournament?
YWe really want to win, but our expectations for this tournament aren’t at 100%. This is because we’re new. We just started playing together a few weeks ago and we haven’t practiced enough. But we also believe that we can improve.
Do you have a message for your fans?
I’d just like to give my fans and family a shout out.