Ponlo was recently invited to LeonArthur’s Podcast, Connecting the Dotes, to share his thoughts on joining Quincy Crew, his background stories and more.

One of the recent changes to the Quincy Crew roster has been the addition of Ponlo to the squad. Quincy Crew is one of the top Dota 2 teams in North America, consistently delivering results. Esports.gg’s LeonArthur spoke to Ponlo for his podcast, Connecting the Dotes. The team placed 9-12th at the International and soon after TI, announced a few changes to its roster.

I had the honor to invite Ponlo to my podcast, Connecting the Dotes. We talked about his decision of joining Quincy Crew, his career turning points, how he got from 9k to 10k MMR within 2 weeks and more.

LeonArthur: What’s your impression of the previous Quincy Crew squad?

Ponlo: They stuck together and played together without organizational support for so many years, and managed to be competitive on TI. For myself, I haven’t even got to sniff TI yet, and I’ve been trying so hard for so long, and for them to do it, I respect the achievement, it’s not easy

Even though Ponlo respects the way Quincy Crew’s previous rosters have played their game, his outlook on the game differs. The 2022 DPC season will put the 23-year-old to test and he will surely have a big impact on Quincy Crew’s playstyle.

Ponlo shares his thoughts about Yawar, Quincy Crew’s carry player

“When we went through the TI replays together, I think Yawar actually played one of the best out of the whole team.”

“I think Yawar’s improved a lot. And this TI, just based on stats alone, he’s actually carrying the team. I’m not convinced, and I won’t say that he’s one of the best carries in the world just because I’m his teammate now and compare him to Yatoro. As much as possible, I wanna stay honest to myself and people around me.”

Most excited to play with Quinn and Khezu

“I’m very excited to play with Quinn. I watched quite a few replays with him recently in the past two weeks. He has strength and a special way of seeing things in the early game. He’s very good at that. With him, I think we can almost create OG 2019-ish plays where we can potentially do things in the game that people just don’t expect of or don’t feel normal reacting to.

On a human level, I think I’m interested in playing with all of them, especially Khezu. All of us have an impression of how Khezu is throughout the years. I’m interested to talk to him and being in the Bootcamp with him and learning whatever I can from him.”

Challenges and obstacles Ponlo might face in NA

This is the first time Ponlo will be playing in North America and an opportunity for him to prove his worth on the international stage. He has had offers to play in China and SEA, but the move to North America will come with its fair share of problems.

I think the most likely obstacle I’m going to face there is the pubs. I think the competitiveness of a pub is very important for my skill. If I dont feel like I can sharpen my skills in pub, then I’ll have to learn a different approach.

Ponlo on his potential obstacles in NA

Ponlo’s 200 IQ approach to casting TI qualifiers

“My goal was not to appease the public but the 30 people that have the power to influence team rosters, that can give me a better opportunity for my career.” – Ponlo

“I actually think casting TI 10 Qualifier was the first step that resulted in me joining Quincy Crew. If Quincy Crew didn’t happen, I’ll most probably go to China to play as a pos 4 since I’ve gotten some offers from there.

I had one very simple goal when I cast TI Qualifier, even though there were like 50-60k viewers. My goal was very simple from the start, it was not to appease the general public, it was to get on the radar of the 30 people that matter in the world and have the power to influence team rosters, that can give me a better opportunity for my career.”

Ponlo has mostly played as a Position 4 player, but on Quincy Crew he will take on the role of a pos 5. When asked about his decision to shift roles, Ponlo said he wanted to stand out amongst his peers.

As a 4, it was very hard for me to differentiate myself from the other pos 4 players. When I compared myself with the other SEA pos 4, it was always hard to think of a reason for me to deserve a spot on one of these teams.

Ponlo on how challenging it has been for him to find success as a position 4 in SEA.

Mushi: A big Influence on Ponlo’s Career

“The easiest way to gain MMR is by not looking at it at all. During those 2 weeks of getting coached by Mushi, my sole focus was to apply the concept I was learning every day, reflecting on myself, and talking to Mushi. Every day after we got off Discord, I’d sit there and look within myself, and ask myself, what is the utmost important thing that I need to learn and apply today, and I’d do it the next day, and I repeated this for 2 weeks. 

When I lost games, I was never tilted.  I was shot-calling so much and was forward-thinking in my pubs. I was encouraging too in my pubs to my teammates because I was so focused on being the best version of myself, and learning how to push the boundaries of it. That’s how I climbed so much in that 2 weeks.”

Mushi has been critical in helping Ponlo improve his approach to the game.

“I’ve always thought that I was hardworking, self-reflective and had self-awareness when it comes to Dota. But in the two weeks working under Mushi, I realized that it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t hardworking and self-aware enough. I didn’t always criticize and looked within myself and to be critical, wasn’t enough. Before getting coached by Mushi, I’m confident to say that I’m more self-aware than 99% of the Dota players. But after that, I came to realize that it still wasn’t enough, I could do more. 

It’s like Mushi tangled me in front of my eyes and told me, look Ponlo, you can do this more, Ponlo, What are you doing? And I’m like, holy shit, you’re right, I can’t wake up and tell anyone I’m hard working anymore without putting in another 200% in.

In some sense, I always thought I’m giving my 100%, but actually what I could have been giving is my 300%, I just didn’t know it. And working under Mushi taught me that.”

Ponlo thinks Mushi is the best person to work with for him right now

I think me and Mushi had a good time working together, we both acknowledge each other alot. I respect him alot, and I think that working with him can help me grow immensely. He’s probably one of the best people in the world for me to work together with at this point.

Ponlo on Mushi

When Boom chose to play BTS with Hyde over Ponlo

BOOM Esports decided to play BTS Pro Series Season 9 with Hyde instead of Ponlo. The team has had a successful run at the tournament and has already secured its spot in the Grand Finals. But the decision was baffling for Ponlo who feels his talents were not recognized enough.

I think I was not recognized by the players. Cause I knew it wasn’t Mushi’s decision, I don’t think he wants to be involved with picking the players, he just wants to be the best coach he can be to whatever players end up in the roster.

Ponlo felt salty as Boom didn’t choose to work with him, and he has no bad feelings for Hyde as they’re good friends

I think certain players on the team just didn’t recognize me or what I can bring. But to me, I would’ve been the perfect fit for Boom. But if they dont recognize me at all, then I wouldn’t be. So in that sense, it’s good that they didn’t pick me. Cause I wouldn’t want to play in a team that people don’t recognize me.

Ponlo

That decision does not deter the position 5 Quincy Crew player. In fact, it serves as fuel to his fire to perform well and prove himself on the International stage.

“Give me 6 months and I’ll fxxk everyone up ” – Ponlo can’t contain his excitement for the future

“I feel like I’m poised to be one of the best pos 5 in SEA. Give me 6 months and I’ll f**k everyone up especially. I’m sure Mushi knows I’m gonna be so bloody good under him cause I improved so much in just 2 weeks. And I’m just disappointed that they didn’t see that and chose Hyde over me. The fact that he is not a pos 5 player and doesn’t play it in pubs at all was salt in the wound.

After Hyde left, I do know that they wanted me, but I’ve already committed to Quincy Crew, and I don’t regret it at all. I don’t wanna be a second option just because Hyde left.  I see myself as more than that, and I know Mushi does too.

Even though Ponlo does feel some disappointment at not being picked on some SEA rosters, he takes the rejection as motivation for his future endeavors. Moving to North America is a first step and the 23-year-old player is on the path to greatness with Quincy Crew.

I’m gonna go to another region and be fucking good and these players can regret it. This is what I’ve been using to motivate myself, but of course, there are no hard feelings.”

I’m gonna go to another region and be fucking good. This is what I’ve been using to motivate myself. There are no hard feelings ofcourse.

Ponlo takes his disappointment at not being chosen in SEA teams as motivating factor for his future in Quincy Crew and NA.

On TNC not choosing him but Febby instead

Ponlo: “I heard TNC just wants veteran supports cause they wanna get fresh young blood Filipino core players. I get that that’s the approach, but I still feel salty about it. (cause the person in charge of TNC’s roster was there the entire time when Ponlo was playing under Mushi)

If you tell me you pick someone like March over me to foster talents, I completely understand that. But my personal opinion is that I don’t see Febby in that sense much. I’m a bit salty that they didn’t choose to work with me in the first place. They didn’t even contact me at all after that.”

Ponlo’s Final thoughts and some words to dream chasers out there

To the people who are still trying and grinding out there, that are finding the way, don’t give up. Like me, I think I tried for a really really long time and didn’t really have anything to show for it. Everyone in my life doubts me, family, friends, everyone. But I knew in my gut that I’m gonna make it one day, it’s just a matter of time. Just try to think critically about the right steps that you can take in your career.

Ponlo’s advices

In a previous interview with esports.gg, Ponlo had some advice for Dota 2 players wanting to climb the MMR ladder.

Ponlo will be joining Quincy Crew for the 2021/22 DPC season and will be relocating from Singapore to North America. He will be joining forces with many experienced players that have been to multiple LANS and The Internationals. Wishing him and the entire squad the best of luck for the next season!

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest Dota 2 news and updates.

Arthur -

Arthur

Dota 2 talent, coach, CN-ENG translator from Malaysia. Aspire to bridge the Chinese Dota 2 scene to Western fans with storytelling.