WITH A painful Season 10 performance that witnessed Nexplay EVOS' its first non-playoff campaign, Setsuna "Akosi Dogie" Ignacio did not mince his words regarding what he feels should happen in the offseason.
In his latest vlog entitled, "LAGLAG! ANO ANG PLANO?" he highlighted what he believes the team should do after Season 10: A total reboot.
"Ang suggestion ko, last season pa hanggang this season, gusto kong mag-reboot. Sinabi ko kay Nexplay, ‘Reboot kami, reboot tayo sa lineup, talagang pipiliin namin kung sino ang mag-i-i-stay," he said.
While the term reboot might mean that Nexplay will change the entire roster, Dogie reiterated that it wouldn't be the case.
"Pero ang suggestion ko ngayon is total reboot. Like, hindi matatanggal lahat ng player. Like, magha-handpick kami kung sino magsta-stay. Baka dalawa ang matitira or isa. Pwede rin wala. Ang suggestion ko ngayon is reboot tapos kuha tayo ng gutom na player."
Easier said than done for Nexplay EVOS
Perhaps a change of scenery is what Nexplay needs for Season 11. If there are teams like TNC in Season 9 and Onic PH in Season 10 that proved that acquiring players from the amateur scene pays off, Dogie argues that the process of acquiring players is no easy task.
"Maghanap kami ng player na gutom, mag-explore kami sa amateur scene. Now sabihin niyo na, ‘Kunin niyo si ganitong team, marami silang panalo, maraming achievements. Ang problema kase doon, at the end of the day, It’s all about 'Money talks.' Outside na ako diyan kase player ako ngayon," he said.
And while the sight of reaching the MPL stage is a dream for many aspiring pro players, but there are other factors that are outside Dogie's reach.
"Ngayon season wala talaga, decision lahat ni Coach nagaganap. Parang magsu-suggest ako tapos decision na ni Coach kung igo-go niya. I respect the decision of coach and management."
The benefits of acquiring an amateur team, according to Akosi Dogie
Aside from talking about the behind-the-scenes discussions within the org, Dogie also thought about the idea of signing up big-time names in the scene. For example: With Gerald "Dlar" Trinchera's surprising demotion to the Mobile Legends Development League (MDL), Nexplay might consider acquiring his services.
But for Dogie, getting an unknown player with a lot of grit and hunger to succeed has its own benefits, based on his experiences.
"Now madami ang nagsabi sa akin na, ‘Kunin mo si Dlar, kunin mo si ganito, kunin mo si ganyan!’ Guys, right now to be honest gusto kong gawin yung parang nag-reboot kami yung 'ML o Ako' or before pandemic, lahat ng players namin gutom kase amateur lang kami noon eh."
Dogie himself witnessed this. After all, his own Happy Feet Emperors squad made an unexpected run to the finals in The Nationals Conference 2.
"Tapos pumasok kami sa The Nationals, gutom kami noon," he said. "Like, yung hunger namin na manalo na gusto namin umabot sa finals.
"Nag-champion ba kami? Hindi! Malungkot ba kami? Yes! Sulit ba? Yes! Masaya ba kami noon? Yes, masaya kami na natupad yung pangarap namin na makarating ng finals!"
Of course, acquiring an amateur team is his preference, but that depends on the decision of management. "Like I said, player ako ngayon."
Then as the video went on, Dogie revealed why he hasn't been actively making content.
"For the past few days, nakikita niyo na hindi ako masyadong nagvlo-vlog, nagstre-stream kase focus talaga kami sa laro, kaso nagkulang. Sorry sa mga fans, kailangan namin mag-mature sa bagay na ito at sana hindi maulit."