Kimo is a charismatic and iconic figure on the Philippine gaming scene, having been around for quite a while and leading his teams into various championships. He announced his retirement last February, then the captain of the MSIEvoGT Dota 2 squad. He surprised many by returning just a few weeks after, joining another team and finishing second on the GMPGL Dota 2 tournament.
However, he and his MSI teammate Earlwin ‘Ewe’ Libre were both penalized with a three-month ban by the newly-formed National Electronic Sports commission for ‘providing misleading statements in order to get out of their binding contracts’, as reported by Mineski and GosuGamers.
DotaTalk interviewed him about his take on the matter, and he proceeded to talk about what happened, and his and his team’s plans for the future.
What was your initial reaction upon reading the announcement of the NeSC?
-Of course I was pissed. Would you believe that there is such a thing [as banning]?
Well, we have seen your retirement article from Mineski, and we also saw you play for another tem just a few weeks after. Is it true that your retirement was just to get out of the contract that you had with MSI?
-Okay, I’ll tell nothing but the truth. About my interview on Mineski regarding my retirement, that was true! I really have to start working for my family. When you saw me play at GMPGL Dota 2 for the team Execration (XCTN), it was because my good friend and my current employer Arvin Risos (a.k.a. Beho) requested me to play for his team.
I am working under him, so how can I refuse him? If he wants me to play [for him], then it is his choice. It is not true that I just made excuses to opt myself out of MSI’s contract.
What exactly is your work under Beho?
-I work for him as a messenger. I don’t get errands and meet people every day, and I am only able to play if time permits and if he allows me.
So is your term on Execration, the team you are playing for now, temporary or for the long-term?
-I am not really sure. Our initial agreement was for two months, but I think it may be extended. I haven’t really played for him much even because of the ban.
I see. Would you mind telling us what happened between you leaving MSI and joining Execration?
-There was nothing much really aside from the fact that I left MSI for myself and my family. Even though I am part of the original Execration [referring to his old team], everyone knows that the team was already non-existent.
Do you agree with the penalty that NeSC has given you? I would assume not as you were pissed – so what do you think they should have done, or do you think they shouldn’t have done anything at all?
-Yeah, as you said, I don’t agree with what they did. Think about it, the NeSC was formed the 23rd of March this year, while I left MSI last February. It means that they shouldn’t have made a case off that past action, if there ever was any.
For example, if a law with a death penalty was applied today, you cannot kill those who violated prior that because a different or no law was still present then. I didn’t violate any rules of NeSC. They weren’t even existent then. If a penalty was ever to be given to me, it will just be between me and MSI.
If they do want to take this measure, then they should have applied it to everyone. To my knowledge, there is someone else who has taken a similar course of action that they didn’t attend to.
What do you mean by saying that there is someone else?
- Well, there is another player, Jhoven, who they didn’t include on their action. I think the group knows that he also left his team and disregarded the contract. Since the group is new, I think they just overlooked or forgot this fact. I hope they make a move.
I heard that he is only playing as a stand-in though. We might want to ask them about it soon, or wait for their next meeting maybe. Anyway, since we were talking about NeSC, what can you say about them as a group?
-I am not against them making a commission for E-Sports in the Philippines. Of course, as a player, that would help me. But I had no idea that this was about to be formed. Which accounts for more, the players or the owners? There are obviously more players so we should be involved as well.
But as Rudy Fernandez [Filipino actor] said, “Nothing personal, just commenting”. [Direct translation: Walang personalan, comment lang]
So you think players should have representatives too? What can you say about the members of the commission now, seeing that they seem to be as established, respected and has contributed as much as anyone else on the community?
-The members are justified – but why just them? I think we also should have some players involved to give more importance to the interest of us players, which accounts more than them. While a company has a Board of Directors, it also has a Labor Union.
Going back to your case, did the ban have any effect on the team you are playing with now? Having a hard time looking for scrims or the sort?
-”Nope, nothing much, just that we are banned.”
Now that we talked about your team, can you tell us about your plans? Would you maybe look for tournaments from organizers not involved on that group, or just wait on online tournaments?
-”For now, we cannot do anything but wait. The ban is already given, I don’t think they can just lift it. But if they can, then of course it would be better.”
The team didn’t perform too well on the recent Netolic tournament. We can remember your goal back when you were playing for MSI was The International 3. Is it still the goal, or you think that is now too soon for the team?
-”Of course, it still is.”
Best wishes then. Any final message and shoutouts?
-I shall return. Vilma Santos [Filipino actress] said, “Justice for Dencio!”. [Implying justice for them. Direct translation: Katarungan para kay Dencio!]