SEA Dota 2 shuffle looms as BOOM, OB x Neon release key players

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·Senior Esports Producer
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Randy "Dreamocel" Sapoetra, Erin "Yopaj" Ferrer, and Andrei "skem" Ong. (Photos: BOOM Esports, OB Esports x Neon)

A major roster shuffle is looming over the horizon for the Southeast Asian Dota 2 scene after some of the biggest organisations in the region, namely BOOM Esports from Indonesia and OB Esports x Neon from the Philippines, recently released key players from their rosters.

On 27 August, BOOM Esports announced that they have parted ways with carry player Randy "Dreamocel" Sapoetra and position 4 support player Brizio "Hyde" Putra while position 5 support Alfi "Khezcute" Nelphyana has retired from competitive play.

Meanwhile, OB Esports x Neon revealed on 28 August that they have parted ways with veteran flex player Andrei "skem" Ong followed by star midlaner Erin "Yopaj" Ferrer also departing the team on 31 August

Following those moves, only midlaner Rafli "Mikoto" Rahman and offlaner Saieful "Fbz" Ilham are still on BOOM Esports roster. 

Meanwhile, offlaner Michael "Roy" Ladines and team captain Jaunuel "Jaunuel" Arcilla remain in OB Esports x Neon's ranks alongside newcomer Ravdan "Hustla" Narmandakh, who joined the team on 25 August.

The departures of key players from BOOM Esports and OB Esports x Neon are speculated to have resulted from both organisations' failures to qualify for The International 10 (TI10), this year's iteration of Dota 2's annual world championship tournament. 

BOOM Esports notably finished the tournament's Southeast Asian qualifier in third place while OB Esports x Neon finished in fifth-to-sixth place. 

Now that big names such as Yopaj, skem, and Dreamocel have become free agents, more dominos are expected to fall within the Southeast Asian Dota 2 scene. With the exception of T1 and Fnatic — the region's two representatives in TI10 — Southeast Asia's other major organisations are also expected to announce their own roster moves in the coming weeks or months.

One team to look out for in particular is TNC Predator, who narrowly missed out on a spot in TI10 after getting reverse swept in the finals of the qualifiers by Fnatic

The highly-talented trio of carry player Kim "Gabbi" Villafuerte, midlaner Armel "Armel" Tabios, and position 4 support Timothy "Tims" Randrup, has been the foundation of the Filipino powerhouse for roughly three years now. 

However, TNC's lacklustre showings in both TI8 and TI9 as well as their failure to qualify for TI10 may have caused one or even two of its star players to start looking elsewhere.

With that said, TNC may also be better served by once again retooling around its core trio, meaning offlaner Jun "Bok" Kanehara and position 5 support Marvin "Boomy" Rushton might be moved instead. With John Anthony "Natsumi" Vargas having already left OB Esports x Neon back in July, Bok and Boomy may be headed for a reunion with their old teammate in Adroit Esports.

Aside from TNC, BOOM, and Neon, other organisations that will be looking to improve their rosters for the next iteration of the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) may include the likes of Execration and Team SMG. However, rising squads such as Galaxy Racer and Motivate.Trust Gaming are expected to stand pat.

With TI10 still a month away and the schedule for the next DPC still unknown, the roster shuffle in Southeast Asia is expected to unfold slowly in the coming weeks before a rush of releases and signings can happen once the future of the scene becomes much clearer.

For more esports news updates, visit and check out Yahoo Esports Southeast Asia’s Facebook page and Twitter.

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