After a year’s break, the world’s richest esports tournament is just weeks away. And with a record US$40 million prize purse on offer, there is much to be excited about ahead of The International 10 (TI10) opener on October 7 in Bucharest, Romania. 

In fact, the ASEAN-representation is strong with no less than 10 players from Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore set to feature in the 18-team blockbuster.

Indonesia’s own Kenny “Xepher” Deo will be among the Southeast Asians looking to set the Dota 2 world alight with T1. The South Korean outfit, with five Southeast Asians on the roster, is considered a dark horse for TI10. They impressed many by finishing third – behind PSG.LGD and Evil Geniuses – in June’s WePlay AniMajor tournament, an event which featured many of the teams which will be competing in TI10. 

But if you think that coming up against the who’s who of Dota 2 would faze Xepher, think again. We sat down with the Indonesian professional Dota 2 player for an interview. 

The support player is in fact relishing a match-up with the undisputed kings of Dota 2.

He said: “I’m looking for OG, they are a beast! Especially when The International comes!”

Indeed, OG’s TI track record is the stuff of legends. The European team are the only two-time winners of the event (2018, 2019) and are looking for a three-peat to cement their position as THE dominant power in the game. 

Whether it is OG or WePlay AniMajor champions PSG.LGD, T1’s approach to the bigger names will be the same.

“We’ll just do our best against them and hope we can play better than them,” said Xepher.

In fact, the form book suggests that T1 may have better luck in a match-up against OG than PSG.LGD. 

Though both T1 and OG competed in many of the same events before, they have yet to face off. In the ESL One Summer 2021, T1 placed 1st but did not cross swords with OG at all.

However, it is a completely different story with PSG.LGD. 

In their recent clashes, T1 have always lost. They came up second best at the ONE Esports Singapore Major, WePlay AniMajor, ESL One Fall and the OGA Dota PIT Invitational. Hopefully it will be a case of “5th time’s the charm”!

Whatever the case, they know SEA fans will have their back.

You can check out Part 2 of the interview here!

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