HERE ARE some words of life wisdom, straight from OhMyV33nus himself: “Mas marami kayong matututunan sa mga struggles niyo, sa mga talo niyo, compared sa mga panalo."
It was a lesson that Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna took to heart soon after he assumed captaincy of Blacklist International. Fresh from departing the Onic PH bootcamp on November 2020, within days, the other half of the V33Wise combo found himself taking charge of a brand new team as they leaped, guns blazing, into the One Esports MPL Invitational.
While Blacklist would eventually dominate the MPL-PH’s Season 7, MPLI was, admittedly, a lot of growing pains for the new captain.
He went on, “Syempre ako, parang sa whole career ko sa Mobile Legends, ONIC lang yung team ko, and having a new team and having new teammates is sobrang nakakapanibago sa umpisa. Sobrang dami rin naming struggle, before kami nag-success.”
But it was a struggle that was the culmination of a dream he’d had for the past decade.
“Ever since 13 years old lang talaga ako, talagang gamer na talaga ang ate mo,” he said. (Villaluna is now 27 years old.)
It took him about seven years to achieve his dream of becoming pro. “And sa five to seven years na yun, grabe,” OhMyV33nus recalled. “Almost every week, lagi ako nagto-tournament, bumibiyahe pa ako ng one to two hours para lang makasali ng tournament.”
It got to the point that he was burned out of the scene. “Nawalan ako ng passion sa gaming,” he said. But still, he kept at his dream, until a brand-new game called Mobile Legends appeared on the scene. Villaluna switched over to this new MOBA from the old PC-based one he’d been playing… and never looked back.
OhMyV33nus learned from his struggles
He doesn’t regret his time in the trenches.
“Ang daming panalo, andaming talo,” he said. “Sobrang daming learnings talaga from in game, how you think outside of the game, and kung paano kang makisama sa mga teammates mo. Sobrang nakatulong sa akin para mag-excel sa Mobile Legends.”
Another roadblock he had to hurdle was opposition from his “non-techie” family.
“Buong pamilya ko, never nila in-accept yung pagge-gaming ko, to the point na, basta sobrang daming naging problema, sobrang daming naging conflict,” Villaluna recalled. “As in. Hindi talaga sila ma-techie, kaya wala silang alam sa mga games.”
This was a struggle also faced by his fellow guest on Legendary Stars, Patrick James “E2MAX” Caidic, who captains Smart Omega.
“Traditional rin ang parents ko e. Inisip nila pag computer, wala kang mapapala diyan, puro laro lang. Sinasayang mo yung oras mo,” said the Omega Esports midlaner.
In fact, he laughingly recalled, he would often play late at night, and his parents would have to disconnect the internet. Then he would just turn it back on again.
E2MAX doesn’t foresee that being a problem anymore with today’s current (and future) crop of esports athletes.
“Sobrang laki na ng esports dito sa atin, so kahit mga parents, na-i-involve na rin sila, so naiintindihan na rin nila yung nangyayari,” he said.
“Sobrang swerte na ng mga gusto pang maglaro, gusto maging katulad namin. Swerte ng kalagayan nila ngayon.”
The MPL-PH’s Season 8 will kick off tomorrow, August 27. OhMyV33nus and the rest of the defending champs Blacklist International will be part of the opening day doubleheader, facing off against TNC Pro Team at 8:00 p.m.
Meanwhile, Smart Omega will have their first season match on Saturday, facing Onic PH at 4:00 p.m.
Legendary Stars goes live every Wednesday, only at the Calamansi app. It is hosted by Dan “Leo” Cubangay, along with a shifting shoutcaster co-host.
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