Mineski Mushi: How does it work?
Can Mushi really bring back Mineski to its prime?
Early this week, a very surprising, and not-so-unexpected news broke out into the Philippine Dota 2 pro scene and that is the addition of the Malaysian Pro, Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung to one of the pioneer Esports teams in the country, team Mineski.
Wait, what makes it surprising? For the longest time, Mineski‘s Dota 2 squad is composed of an all-Filipino roster, ever since its inception back in the days of Defense of the Ancients, up until the addition of Singaporean star Galvin “Meracle” Kang Jian Wen during the late second quarter of 2016.
Mushi’s journey towards Mineski
Prior to joining Mineski as the new Captain, Mushi played under the banner of team Fnatic from June 2015 up until Feb 2016, which acquired Mushi, together with the rest of the players that make up what was then called as Team Malaysia. After presumably ending his contract with Fnatic, Mushi went on to be teamless for a short while before playing as a stand-in for team Mineski-X, Mineski’s multinational Esports squad for the Kiev Major Qualifiers, and then ultimately being signed by Mineski‘s main Dota 2 roster as their new captain.
Reasons for the roster change
Prior to the new leadership under Mushi, Mineski Dota was led by Ryan Jay “Bimbo” Qui, with the rest of the team being composed of Meracle, Julius “Julz” De Leon, Ralph Richard “RR” Penano, and Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross. Since the finalization of their most recent roster before this new switch up, Mineski, failed to deliver on significant achievements multiple times, not qualifying for major and premier tournaments and only appearing in one major LAN, that being the ROG Masters where they finished on the 3rd-4th spot after being defeated by Team Secret, a performance run that’s largely different from the periods of late 2015 to early 2016 where the team was still able to qualify for different premier tournaments namely ESL One Manila, the Manila Major, the Frankfurt Major and The Summit 4.
While Mineski may be a team composed of players with commendable individual talent, one common problem that analyst have pointed out regarding the team’s overall execution and playstyle, is their problems in dealing with the late game phase of their matches, or when the game clock exceeds the 30 or 40-minute mark. This may be attributed to the team’s self-described “high risk” gameplay wherein the individual players tend to create multiple plays on their own, ones that yield high rewards, whether they are on the lead or catching up, which can lead to questionable decisions ending in more harm than benefit towards the rest of the team during the course of the match.
All of these noted issues combined presumably resulted in the Mineski management renewing the talks among their existing players and opening their lineup for new members, one that now includes Mushi, in their path towards change.
Skeptics and community critique
While fans are delighted regarding Mineski’s chosen path towards reinvigorating their lineup, many have been largely skeptic about the addition of a Malaysian veteran in a Filipino squad, with most of the criticisms being fired on Mushi, citing big words like his supposed “toxicity” towards his teammates, and the supposed language and cultural barrier between Malaysians and Filipinos.
But can this new Mineski squad really adjust to deal with these factors?
Although this might be the first time that Mushi will be professionally playing under a team composed majorly of Filipino players and based here in the Philippines, this will not be the Malaysian veteran’s first time to be part of a “multinational squad” which lineup is composed mostly of non-Malaysians, for he once stayed in China to be part of the then-all-star lineup, Team DK which was composed of 3 Chinese and 1 Singaporean pro player, back in 2014. It can be noted that DKwas one of the most successful teams in China at that time, winning premiere events such as the WPC ACE League, StarLadder Starseries, and G-League, earning them the nickname “Galacticos” which translates to “superstars”.
This multinational experience and achievement can easily mean that Mushi is able to fit in with others regardless of Nationality, as long as we’re talking about pro Dota 2, and easily debunks the cultural barrier concern that skeptics have voiced out, though the language barrier can be a potential hindrance, though the players can still use even the simplest of English and Dota 2 terms to communicate while in the game.
Prior to Mushi‘s addition, one issue that people have pointed out with Mineski is the fact that the former captain, Bimbo was playing a core role, that being the mid-laner, which may have an effect, to some extent, on his overall role as a team captain. Arguably, the decisions stemming from a carry’s perspective somehow overpowers the decisions from the captain’s perspective, and this may be evident, again, on Mineski‘s high-risk playstyle, which, resulting in multiple individual plays, such as the ones coming in from the core role particularly the mid-laner which is commonly the “playmaker”, that end badly for the rest of the team should a mishap be committed.
But hey, isn’t Mushi still playing Mid, how is it going to be different this time?
Looking at Mineski‘s new roster, Mushi, while he is captain and the mid-laner at the same time, does spell bad news for some fans however, this time, Mushi is backed by not only 1, but 2 former team captains, and one of them can actually potentially act as the proxy captain, keeping the focus on the team as a whole, while leaving the major decisions for the mid and late game instances of a match to the captain, which in turn will help ease the burden of constantly checking on the rest of the team while trying to handle the most contested lane in Dota 2 that is mid.
Who am I referring to you ask? Well, none other than Nico “eyyou” Barcelon, who formerly led team TNC Pro Team Dota 2. Eyyou, who once was the captain of perhaps the most stable Filipino Dota 2 pro team of this generation, and is playing the Position 4 support role commonly referred to as the farming support and the one that helps implement map control during the early stage of the game, may just be able to complement Mushi‘s leadership with his consistent presence on the map, being able to call out or suggest rotations and adjustments, that of course, with the approval of the captain.
Mineski‘s new lineup is a team that holds great potential, as it is composed of players with commendable individual skills paired with experience, not just locally or within the South East Region, but also on an international scale. Given that factor, the team will have to work on their chemistry and stability should they want to once again become South East Asia’s best pro Dota 2 squad and their acid test will arrive soon, that is in the form of the upcoming Manila Masters happening this May 2017, which will then be followed by the true road towards one of the biggest Esports spectacles, the The International Dota 2 Championships.
Mineski Dota 2 Team Roster
- Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung
- Lee “kYxY” Kong Yang
- Ryan Jay “Bimbo” Qui
- Nico “eyyou” Barcelon
- Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross Jr.
Disclaimer: As this is an editorial piece, the views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Pacific Network as a whole.