With the finalist of the Asia Pacific Predator League 2024 being decided on Saturday, Sunday which is Day 3 will be the last “work day” for this trip so here’s what the media team did.
The first agenda for today is to attend the Grand Finals where Dota 2 pretty much secured a guaranteed “PH Win” since Blacklist Rivalry and Execration are both local teams while for Valorant, renowned esports organization Team Secret (Yep, surprised to know that they picked up a SEA squad as a whole compared to their Dota 2 counterpart) fought against the Japanese team FAV Gaming.
For the folks watching at home, due to the overlay of the stream plus the game itself, you don’t really get to know what the live layout and setup is gonna look like so here are some shots.
And if you’re wondering where the English caster deck is, here it is.
Also, if you are still unclear about the podium results for the tournament, here’s a quick refresh.
- Dota 2
- Champion: Blacklist Rivalry
- 2nd Place: Execration
- 3rd Place: Aster. Aries
- Champion: Team Secret
- 2nd Place: FAV Gaming
- 3rd Place: BOOM Esports
Hey, who can forget our Intel MVP Raven and Jremy who got an extra trophy and winnings through their exquisite performance and plays.
The event officially concluded with the big Malaysia 2025 reveal (I would say that the teaser trailer is a bit too short and not “hyped” enough though) and the passing of the Predator flag from the Philippines M.D to our own Malaysia M.D.
After that, we got to interview Team Secret as a little bonus, and a big thanks to them for giving us time and the chance to talk to them even though they were super tiring from all the competing and award-receiving routine.
Q: Thank you guys for accepting our interview despite finishing up with the PH media squad. First off, congratulations on your win and dominating as usual. A simple starter for you all, how does it feel to go against mirror matches in the first round?
A: It was nothing strange and we are well-practiced and coordinated enough to know how to play against it. So not really a big deal and we believed we could handle it from the start, not much stress about this particular “surprise”.
Q: This current roster was only completed in last year’s October when NDG joined. With only a couple of months to figure everything out and yes, the big win today proved the squad worked well enough to stick together long-term, what are you aiming for in 2024?
A: We want to build it further on the basis from last year. Because it is too little in a practical sense, we want to add more depth to the basics of each player alongside higher levels of coordination and shot-calling to become even better.
Q: What are your thoughts about your finalist opponent, FAV Gaming? How does it feel to play against the Japanese?
A: In terms of sheer dedication of putting time into practicing, FAV Gaming feels like a lot of the PH teams – Members are willing to grind, they always try their best, they don’t hold back on drastic changes when it is necessary, and there are many supporters as well.
Q: So playing for the home crowd and on the soil you grew up in, do you guys feel the pressure of wanting to showcase and perform to the very best or even to mind-boggling levels? Because you know, patriotic bonds and all that.
A: Well, we do have a bit of that in the beginning but we are constantly reminded that it won’t affect or help in the games itself so that’s one way we figured out how to deal with it. But in general, we are super happy to have the tournament hosted here and we also set a rather simple goal: Win every game to the end and we can bring pride to the country.
Q: Since Haven will be out for the next competitive season and those who know about Team Secret know that you guys basically mastered it, how do you feel in terms of losing such an advantage?
A: Well, it is definitely sad and bad but it is what it is, the scene needs to be shaken up regularly in order to keep things fresh. But the new round of maps is in our favor too, just gotta redo the grinding of pre-planning, practice, and execution for Haven onto other maps.
Q to JessieVash: For Malaysians or the international folks, they might not know about this but you actually ventured across a lot of competitive PvP titles with the current one being Valorant. How is it that you are able to play at such a high level? Do you juggle between games?
A: No, just focus on one title only and don’t think about anything else. Also, you have to understand the important mechanics of the game or the meta in general, the more information you have that the opponent doesn’t, the easier it is to beat them.
Q: What about the atmosphere of the team in terms of expressing team morale? For example, Malaysian teams tend to go wild and probably curse when they are ahead and styling on their opponents, do you guys become really hyped up or something?
A: Yeah, I think all members have the tendency to do that. Especially during the round when we were chasing down the last opponent TenTen, NDG was screaming (and the loudest at that) like a raider chasing for the kill. And you know, he slipped and fed a kill lmao.
Q to manager: Do you think Team Secret would be interested in taking a full women’s team?
A: Well, discussions did float around but we are currently pooling resources into this particular squad right now. Seeing them succeed proves that the investment was right and we will continue to do so since they are still a fairly young team that needs more training in the meantime.
This was the last day in Manila. We all prepared and picked up everything to leave the hotel and headed straight to the airport.
Before boarding the plane, we had one last meal at the cafe just before the designated boarding gate. Here’s a glass of their local berry tea-esque drink. They love their fruit infused ice tea like A LOT.
And a nice set of fried chicken sandwiches set to cope with my decision of not eating Jollibee when I had the chance (I went to Popeyes instead lmao).
And it’s time to go back home.
As the very first “work-related” business trip, the entire trip was a blast – from experiencing a new culture that is kind of similar to Malaysia yet still refreshing in many aspects like culinary, building design, the daily life of the people here, rules and regulations in regards to public safety, you know, all the little things that can pique one’s interest just by being different than one’s habit and knowledge.
The tournament was eye-opening too. Despite attended a couple of local esports events in Malaysia as a viewer, it is a completely different experience when you attend as a “VIP” or “Staff” – anything that is not a standard paying viewer. You can gaze upon the venue like the Mall of Arena at different angles and really take in the atmosphere and vibe of the crowd and the lighting, not to mention you get to go backstage if applicable too.
The perks of being a member of the media team also came into play as you can directly talk to the pro players and get to know their thoughts and opinions about the game, their team, and other relevant things.
In some sense, it feels like a small dream from the old competitive gaming side of me being realized: What I saw on my monitor back then that was live streamed from a location I’ve never been to before, the same thing is now in front of me.
So yeah, that’s how the trip went for me – Lots of things learned, plenty of first times, and the nice hospitality of the country. Looking forward to see you again, Philippines.