Header Ads Widget

Dream come true for Abed as he returns home to join Blacklist

After a long time mainly making waves in the North American DOTA 2 scene, Abed returns home to join Blacklist Rivalry. ESL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—Last decade, Abed Yusop was a teenage DOTA 2 prodigy that international clubs got an interest in especially when he became the player with the highest matchmaking ranking in casual ranked play.

Team Onyx successfully lured the then-16-year-old Abed to North America right at the start of 2017, a week after he announced that he was leaving Execration.

Save for a two-year stint with Southeast Asian powerhouse Fnatic in between, Abed embarked on a solid career in the North American region.

Seven years after taking his talents overseas, though, Abed found himself returning to the Philippines after Blacklist Rivalry signed him last November in arguably the biggest transfer window news in the Southeast Asian DOTA 2 scene.

When asked what convinced him to return home, Abed, now 23, said that the stars aligned with him.

"It's always been my dream na talagang bumalik, so the timing was right lang talaga," Abed said on Friday during the break in action of the Asia-Pacific Predator League at Sofitel.

Yusop became the headliner of Blacklist's massive rebuild that saw him, Kim Santos, and Carlo Manalo teaming up with holdovers Marc Fausto and Tims Randrup.

While they have been rivals over the years, Abed thinks their familiarity with each other--and how to counter their moves--made it easier for him to transition to becoming allies with them.

He even bared that he tried to lure them to join his team.

"Ever since naman, yung mga players na kakampi ko ngayon, parang matagal ko na rin silang ini-invite sa mga previous international teams ko, and then, [last] year, feeling ko, yung timing lang talaga, mas nag-align sa amin. Eto rin yung best opportunity namin na maging teammates," Abed further said.

Abed, Blacklist eye vengeance in Predator League after rough start to 2024

The new Blacklist squad got off to a roaring start by ruling the Southeast Asian qualifiers for ESL One Kuala Lumpur a week after the rebuild was announced.

However, come the main tournament the following month, Blacklist struggled in the group stages and missed out on making the playoffs, settling for ninth place overall.

Blacklist struggled too in its first tournament for 2024, the East Asian qualifiers for the BetBoom Dacha Dubai event, just ending up in fifth place.

Blacklist quickly turned their attention to the next event, the main tournament of the Asia-Pacific Predator League.

Blacklist ruled what was tagged as the "group of death" in the group stages, sweeping Group A to book one semifinal spot.

Execration, one of two other teams in the said group, clinched the other semifinal seat, assuring that two Filipino teams will be at the nearby SM Mall of Asia Arena come the playoffs this weekend.

Now in the semifinals, Blacklist now aims to claim the Predator Shield to quickly right the ship midway into January. 

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

Post a Comment