Talon Sophy talks to Esports.gg about how her sanity playing Dota 2, her love of SEA, and how she deals with the highs and lows of supporting Talon on the DPC.

Talon Esports is not short of talent. You have seen the team's phenomenal performances all the way from Division II to Division I. Now, you get to learn what goes behind the scenes from their number one fan, marketing manager and Dota streamer, Sophy.

Sophy is a Philippines-based Twitch streamer who started her career in 2020. She has always been passionate in the world of entertainment, which attributed to her success today. She has grown her viewership steadily from a humble 30 viewers up to a consistent 400 viewers average.

Esports.gg was able to speak with her about her career, and her love for Dota and the SEA region.

Introducing... Sophy!

Who is Sophy?

Sophy: "I was born and raised in the Philippines. I went to Loyola Marymount University in the United States for college where I majored in entrepreneurship and minored in theater. I have always been a gamer since birth. My Dad made me play games like Frogger and got me a Nintendo 64. I grew up with all the consoles like N64, Game Boy Advance, PS1 and more. When I was in high school, I bought a PS4 with money I saved myself."

And how did you get into Dota?

Sophy: "During my freshman year in high school, I was bored and decided to browse through Steam. I then stumbled upon a free game called Dota, which apparently was not free as it cost all my sanity."

Sophy going live screen featuring her signature Dota hero Night Stalker and her Pomeranian Emma.
Sophy going live screen featuring her signature Dota hero Night Stalker and her Pomeranian Emma.

What about streaming? What got you to Twitch?

Sophy: "When I came back to the Philippines I was playing Dota 24/7, playing 16 games a day. So I might as well started streaming and that was how everything began.

I’ve always been an entertainer and enjoy making people smile. Since high school, I’ve always wanted to do hosting or acting but did not get the chance then. But it sort of worked out because now that I stream, I get to host my own shows!"

You’ve grown your viewership from 20-30 average to a consistent 300-400. What’s your secret sauce for that tremendous growth on Twitch?

Sophy: "Consistency is key but it’s not the only thing that is required to succeed. What I'm about to say is going to sound corny, but you have to BE YOURSELF. Some streamers try to be someone they are not, but at the end of the day people are going to come to your stream for you and there’s only ONE you!

But streaming Dota can be difficult because it’s a boomer game. It has challenges in attracting the youth who are the biggest target audience on Twitch. Dota is quite static when compared to newer games like Valorant.

Sophy's viewership on Twitch has been on the rise since June 2020 (Statistics from <a href="https://twitchtracker.com/sophy">TwitchTracker</a>)
Sophy's viewership on Twitch has been on the rise since June 2020 (Statistics from TwitchTracker)

There are also the pros and cons to being a female streamer as many people like to point out. I agree that it’s a little easier to hit the 20-30 viewer mark as a girl, but going above and beyond can be pretty hard. And that’s why I try my best to provide not only good content but also good gameplay.

Ultimately, life is hard for everyone. If you’re willing to get that dough, you will make the effort."

"Ultimately, life is hard for everyone. If you’re willing to get that dough, you will make the effort."


What about your MMR? In two years you’ve grown from Archon to Divine 4. How did you do that?

Sophy: This is the mindset I always like to share when it comes to raising your MMR in Dota.

  • Archon - Get comfortable with your heroes and with the mechanics like laning.
  • Legend - Figure out your role and spam your favorite heroes.
  • Ancient - To me this is the easiest because everyone is trying really hard to get to Divine.
  • Divine - This is what I'm still trying to figure out because this bracket is a hell hole for smurfs and account buyers

Sophy talks about her time in Talon

Now that we've established your credentials in streaming and Dota, let's talk about how you landed your role in Talon.

Sophy: "I got scouted by Talon’s general manager last November and was asked to become the organization’s key opinion leader (KOL). Basically their influencer, streamer and content creator. I thought it was cool to become a part of an international organization like Talon, especially knowing that their goal is to become 'THE organization' in Asia Pacific.

As a side note, I’m very proud of SEA. I love SEA so much. I would do anything to see the region flourish. Right now we are only talking about organizations like TSM and 100Thieves in NA or OG and Alliance in EU. But it's good to know that Talon could be the one to level with them.

After some time, my responsibilities went beyond just being a social media manager. I’m also their marketing manager. Basically if I’m not working I’m streaming and if I’m not streaming I’m working. My life is in shambles but in a good way!"

How do KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) and esports organizations benefit each other?

Sophy: "It really depends on what organization you’re at. Typically, you will find that some esports organizations may or may not provide a salary. They may set up a 30-70 split in which they would take 30 percent of your earnings when you do a gig with a sponsor that they found.

Usually, they will also provide you with benefits such as content editing services or an allowance to purchase gears for your stream. If you’re a part of an organization with a solid roster of KOLs you get to plan many fun events together.

The thing is I am subject zero as far as a KOL goes in Talon Esports. It was quite lonely at first, but then they picked up johnxfire who is absolutely amazing. He is such a great caster and a good friend of mine. Him and MLPDota are my favorite caster duo."

What do you look most forward to when working with Talon?

TALON Sophy: "The people are who I look most forward to. I really love the people I work with, especially the guys–the players. They are very inspiring and a lot of people don’t really understand their mental strength. These guys grew up in the spotlight of the Dota community.

If you’re this good at the game and if you have a lot of fans, there’s also a lot of people who are going to hate on you. And these guys have the mental fortitude of a very strong rock. 

"I really love the people I work with, especially the guys–the players. They are very inspiring and a lot of people don’t really understand their mental strength."

The other day when we won our game against Boom, I started to cry. My fellow content creator started to cry. My manager, and he’ll kill me for saying this, even he started to cry. We were all hugging and that was the first time everyone was showing their emotions."

What made that moment so emotional?

TALON Sophy: "Every day since the start of the year has been a non-stop rollercoaster of just getting things done. We started in Division II and it was tough. Because the guys are really good. I always saw them as a Division I team, but there they were in Division II where they had to climb all the way up.

Even in games where we stomp our opponents, they would still be disappointed if they played really badly. It was rare to see them jump for joy and celebrate. They expected a lot from themselves and they took it out on themselves. It was really hard back then.

Now they are in Division I and are playing against people of their caliber. The challenge is on and we’re all in. If we make it to the major and we do well there, then we might have a good chance to make it to TI. We’ve come a long way!"

Photo by Talon Esports.  Left: <a href="https://liquipedia.net/dota2/Q_(Thai_player)" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Q</a> and <a href="https://liquipedia.net/dota2/23savage" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">23savage</a>. Right: <a href="https://liquipedia.net/dota2/Mikoto" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Mikoto</a> and <a href="https://liquipedia.net/dota2/Kpii" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">kpii</a>. Center: <a href="https://liquipedia.net/dota2/Forev" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Forev</a> and <a href="https://liquipedia.net/dota2/Hyde" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Hyde</a>
Photo by Talon Esports. Left: Q and 23savage. Right: Mikoto and kpii. Center: Forev and Hyde

And to all the haters…

TALON Sophy: "Also, all the doubters and haters make this so much better. There’s always people who comment on our posts like 'Boom’s gonna 2-0 Talon, Fnatic’s gonna 2-0 you, you guys will get rekt and NGX will destroy you!' There’s so much hate in the Dota community man! And being on social media all the time I have to consume everything. 

All the negative energy does weigh you down at the end of the day but you just can’t let it affect you. Being a streamer, I have a decent amount of training to not let negative energy affect me. I guess I’m used to it. I have that mental strength.

But of course on the other hand, I also see people who say really nice things like 'Talon is going to be the team of SEA' and 'I’m so excited to see how well they do'. Seeing those can be very uplifting and they are the reason I do what I do."

How confident are you guys in beating Fnatic tonight and continuing your winning streak?

Sophy: "I think they really have a strong shot. No one has played against us in Division I before except for Polaris, NGX and RSG. We’re basically a new roster. No one knows what to expect so I think we have the element of surprise."

Writer’s note: Unfortunately, Talon fell short to Fnatic and ended their win streak.

Besides the DPC games, is there anything you would like to share about Talon?

TALON Sophy: We’re doing this thing next week which is pretty exciting, but I can’t say it yet until we announce it on socials. Just keep yourself up-to-date with Talon events and games. Follow Talon’s content creators and support SEA content creators in general. SEA PRIDE!

What's the future look like?

Sophy: "I really love the entertainment and hosting work. Being able to do that full time and make a decent living off of it would be the dream. In terms of my streaming, I think I’ll be doing that and playing Dota for a long time. Going forward I just want to put out more content on YouTube and TikTok. 

I just want to work harder and also just to take care of myself–That’s something a lot of streamers and people in the esports industry need to do because we live excruciating and tiring lives. And have fun! Having fun is the most important part."

We look forward to what Sophy and Talon will bring to the table in the near future. Please give them your support by following their socials!



If you enjoyed this interview, check out our other interview with Tundra Nine and skiter.