Talon Esports captain, Jabz, talks about which other SEA team will qualify for TI12 as well as his confidence in winning Riyadh Masters 2023.
Talon Esports have recently secured their spot at The International 2023 (TI12) due to the circumstances that took place at Bali Major. With the elimination of Execration and Nouns Esports, Talon locked their position at the Dota Pro Circuit standings with 1,120 points. Part of that success comes from Jabz, Talon captain.
Esports.gg talked to Talon captain Anucha "Jabz" Jirawong about his time with Talon Esports thus far.
Jabz's journey from Fnatic to Talon
Jabz is one of the most prominent team captains hailing from the Southeast Asian (SEA) region. He captained Fnatic for three out of four years before the organization eventually disbanded the Dota squad. While at Fnatic, he managed to achieve a number of incredible results. He then transferred to Talon at the beginning of 2023 where he helped skyrocketed the team’s success.
Talon Esports have already been on the rise before Jabz joined the team. They climbed all the way to Division I from Division II open qualifiers. And though the results were far from ideal, they even managed to play at TI11. Enter Jabz in 2023 and Talon evolved to another level.
The cool, calm and collected leader
We asked Jabz to describe his leadership style that contributed to the team’s success, and the answer is his laissez-faire brand of leadership.
"I don't force people much and I take it easy."
Jabz exudes a calming demeanor. It makes sense that he would go with a more open communication style of leadership. He added that while in games, everyone gets to have a voice. However, it is mainly him and coach Lee “SunBhie” Jeong-jae who do the most talking post game. He did mention that his former teammates at Fnatic were a lot more outspoken than his current ones at Talon with the exception of Three (Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon).
Certainly, it is by no means that Jabz is the sole reason to Talon’s success and they surely still have a long way to go. In fact, it was a huge upset when Talon did not make it to Bali Major for having only placed fourth at SEA DPC Season 3. He attributed the performance drop to the team’s failure in adapting to the new patch at the time. Additionally, he saw significant improvements by other teams in the league. Fortunately, Talon have done enough work to cement their place at TI12.
SEA teams fail to make a stride at Bali Major
Yet, his SEA peers who made it to Bali Major did not get very far. At the end of the group stages, all SEA teams were no longer at the Major. Meaning that there is no longer a home representation at the SEA-based Major.
This is truly one of the worst years for SEA teams. So far, only Talon Esports have scored DPC points through Majors while other SEA teams did not even get out of the group stages. We asked Jabz what his thoughts were on the very apparent struggle SEA teams are experiencing. His response:
“They are just playing really passive and are lagging behind the international teams. And this is because the pubs in SEA are really bad.”
And it’s not even the infamous SEA pubs toxicity that he is concerned with, but rather how passive the pub games were. To Jabz, the key to success is being able to quickly understand the meta and adapt to it. Furthermore, he suggests practicing with a purpose, identify what heroes you want to try and determine what you want to get out of practice.
Who will join Talon at TI12?
Other SEA teams need to figure out how to move forward fast as SEA regional qualifier is coming soon. Unfortunately, only one team gets to qualify with no news on a possible last chance qualifier. When we asked Jabz on which teams he thinks will have the best chances of qualifying he went with Bleed Esports and Geek Fam (Geek Slate).
“In my opinion, either Geek Fam or Bleed will do well. I think Bleed have good strategies while Geek Fam have a very weird hero pool which makes it difficult for opponents to react.”
Either way, the team that Jabz is looking most forward to facing against is none other than Gaimin Gladiators. Talon have yet to defeat Gaimin in a best-of-three and Jabz is eager to take his revenge against them.
Talon Jabz: A stop in Riyadh
Prior to TI12, Talon will compete in the upcoming Riyadh Masters 2023. Jabz believes that Talon have what it takes to win the whole tournament. When asked for ballpark percentage on how confident he is on winning Riyadh Masters, he stated a respectable 50 percent. It is not the most optimistic number, but it is realistic and will help manage expectations.
Finally, we asked Jabz if there is anything he wishes to say to his and Talon fans out there.
“Thank you everyone for your support and we will try our best to not let the SEA region look weak.”
Talon Esports are currently bootcamping at the Manila club house in Philippines. The team are preparing for Riyadh Masters and will be traveling there on July 16.