Metro Manila (May 12) - While he may be hailing from the Land Down Under, Blacklist Rivalry’s newest offlaner Damien “kpii” Chok hopes to put his new black-and-orange brand on top as the third Dota Pro Circuit Division I tour begins.
Rivalry caught up with the 30-year-old pro player and asked him how practice sessions have been with his new team. “(It) feels exciting to be part of a predominantly Filipino organization as a foreigner. Our practice was a bit rusty, obviously since we haven't played together since the trial which was a few weeks ago already, but we have been improving at a quick pace,” Kpii told Rivalry in an email interview.
While he is a new face in the Blacklist Rivalry roster, Kpii is no stranger to competitive Dota, just like the rest of the team. He first made his name in the Oceania circuit, where he was part of teams like Noxious Gaming and AkMA, as well as a second-place finish in 2014 in an Australian tournament as part of Can’t Say Wips AU.
Kpii also made waves in Asia, starting with Korean team MVP Phoenix, where he led the squad towards The International or TI 2015, alongside their sibling team MVP HOT6ix. He also played for Chinese teams such as EHOME.K and Newbee before leaving Newbee in 2018. Kpii’s Newbee experience also prepared him on how to handle wins and losses - just like their first-round knockout in TI 2018.
Kpii goes on to tell the story of how he finally ended up being part of the black-and-orange brand. “Most recently I was in Talon, which I joined at the start of the 2022 circuit. I bootcamped in Thailand for a few months along with Gabbi, Fly, Mikoto and Hyde which was very enjoyable as I have never bootcamped there before. Later on, two members left and 23savage and Q joined, which we then moved to the Philippines to bootcamp,” Kpii said.
“I chose this team (Blacklist Rivalry) because the players are all that I have respect for and I believe we can have good chemistry,” Kpii said highly of his new teammates, which include Marc Polo “Raven” Fausto, Carlo “BossKu” Palad, Karl “Karl” Baldovino and shotcaller Timothy “Tims” Randrup.
Former team member Nico “eyyou” Barcelon recently left the team, and Kpii was called in to fill that slot.
Kpii goes on to reveal that being part of Blacklist Rivalry has him reunited with Tims and the team’s head coach Michael “Ninjaboogie” Ross, saying, “I've been teammates with Tims and Ninjaboogie before, so we're still quite close. The others are witty and like to make jokes all the time so it's easy to bond with them. One advice is that close relationships are just as important as in game play,” he says.
Kpii also says he has not yet met Blacklist Rivalry co-owner and Tier One Entertainment CEO Tryke Gutierrez, but claims he is treated well by the management and support staff. “They are all really nice people and treat me well,” he says.
Tryke was the first to reveal in his Facebook page that Kpii was already signed to be the newest Blacklist Rivalry Dota 2 player, saying simply, “This next DPC season is about learning from the past.. Welcome to Blacklist.Rivalry Kpii!”
Kpii adds that he likes a lot of in-game fighting, which is why he enjoys heroes like Brew and Doom. “I also enjoy Doom a lot right now, because you can get rich easily, and that’s fun,” he says, also noting that the current Patch 7.33, the offlane meta is “quite standard” for his standards.
When asked about how he wants to be remembered as BLR.Kpii, he simply said, “I want to be remembered as someone who fought hard together with Blacklist to achieve a good result at TI.”
He also simply thanked the Agents for their untiring love and support, simply adding, “We players will always work hard and strive for good results.”
Blacklist Rivalry is fighting to keep its TI 2023 dreams alive as they have not placed well in the first and second DPC Division I tournaments this year.
With Kpii’s addition, the team hopes it can keep up with the rest of the pack as the path to The International in Seattle, Washington becomes more challenging than ever.