Even during December's M3 world championship, this was already evident. He posted in his official Facebook page that the two teams and Blacklist International would constantly hang out.
“Sa mga hindi pa nakakaalam sobrang tropa namin ng Blacklist International ang RRQ Hoshi sa M3, sobrang bait nila kapag hindi naglalaro lagi kami magkakasama,” said the Pinoy Hedgehogs' coach.
Though they are friends outside the Land of Dawn, their competitive nature could never be ignored. When these two teams faced each other, RRQ would constantly bash their foes and Coach Yeb personally witnessed this.
“Pero kapag kalaban nila kayo grabe yung trashtalk nila. Yung competitiveness nila ang taas kitang kita mong gusto manalo, part of the game e, pero walang pikunan after ng game same parin tropa parin sila walang nagbago,” said the mentor of the M3 runners-up.
In the end, the shift between rivals and friends is part of the realities in the professional esports scene.
“Nag-kwento na din ako para sa mga fans ng iba’t ibang teams sa MPL-PH, ganito talaga liga,” he reflected.
He added: “Sobrang competitive lahat in-game pero sa labas ng game lahat yan nirerespetuhan at sana maging magkakaibigan lahat eventually pagtapos ng pandemic. Good vibes lang tayo mga boss.”
Coach Yeb was responding to RRQ’s admiration for Filipino teams
Coach Yeb’s comments on RRQ was his response to an article by John Dave Rossel of AFK Gaming. The piece reported that RRQ gold laner Yesaya “XINNN” Armando Wowiling praised both Blacklist International and Onic PH for their performances in the M3 World Championship.
In a podcast hosted by Jonathan Liandi, XINNN admitted that he was bamboozled by the two Filipino squads. After all, he claimed that Blacklist never took their scrimmages seriously, only to amp things up when these two teams met in a professional tournament.
"Blacklist International never won against us (RRQ) in scrimmages. The scores were like 4-0, 4-1. But in the tournament, they smashed us 3-0," said the RRQ gold laner in Bahasa (translated by AFK Gaming).
He added: "In scrimmages, there were matches with nothing really serious, maybe they just want to analyze the strat or there are teams who like to show their power to smash their opponents in scrim," he said.
As for Onic PH, XINNN revealed that they were left stunned from Onic PH’s signature “Banana Split” antics.
“To be honest, we were struggling against ONIC PH's split push strategy. We were shocked, because before season 8 when doing scrim sessions with Onic PH, we had never seen this strategy before,” he said.