T1’s Xepher radiates quiet confidence as they head into a COVID TI10

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All hands on keyboards! The International 10 (TI10) is just a week away. But of course, Miss Corona still rears its ugly head around. Measures to make the biggest Dota 2 competition “a fully-masked, fully-vaccinated event” mean a quieter occasion, with half the fans. 

For many esports teams, being able to come together and practice is a big part of the preparation for major tournaments. COVID-19 has made this particularly difficult, since borders have continued to stay closed for the most part.

But for Southeast Asian (SEA) team T1, it’s just another hurdle they had to overcome. The team is training hard in Romania these days, having managed to huddle there since a few weeks ago. Just last week, the team celebrated team captain Carlo “Kuku” Palad’s birthday in the hotel itself, (literally) bringing tears of joy (or sadness) to his eyes (watch it here).

But Kenny “Xepher” Deo believes the team, who are first-time entrants to TI, are in fighting shape to take on esports biggest competition.

 “All good now, we are still able to bootcamp together before TI10,” he said.

A show of confidence in the face of adversity? Maybe, especially since Dota 2 statistician Ben “Noxville” estimated that T1 has less than a 1% chance of winning TI10.

Xepher, however, isn’t fazed. The support player is one of the most consistent players in the DPC Pro Circuit 2021, quietly functioning as a key pillar in T1’s push for a spot in the TI. For now, he is happy to just be there.

He said: “TI is my dream and finally I accomplish it, I just hope after this TI, I still can being humble and keep improving”.

The humble approach Xepher takes to the competition is characteristic of T1. What they lack in star players, they make up for it in teamwork and unity. For Xepher, it’s all about having each other’s backs, especially in a game where it’s easy to lay the blame on your teammates.

He said: ”All my teammates are all good, we have been playing together for a long time already, especially 4 of us (except 23), all my teammates have good mentality and personality.”

Fans can at least rejoice in finally getting some epic Dota 2 beatdowns soon. SEA fans will surely be sending all their love and support virtually. Xepher echoes back the same love.

He said: “Thanks for supporting me and the T1 team, we hope we can give the best in this TI. Thank you.”

Slay the competition and bring home the championship, T1!

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