The Philippines’ edition of the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) for 2022 is off to a great start. The final days of January saw squads from all over the Philippines go head-to-head in the Open Qualifier for a chance at joining invited teams in the group stages.
Only six teams could advance to the second phase of the tournament to join invited teams, Zeal Esports and Team Secret. The new-look BREN Esports, local powerhouses Oasis Gaming & South Built Esports, a recently in-form Action PH, ex-SV Empire vets in Looking For Org, and the newly formed NAOS Esports all made it through to Phase 2 of VCT PH 2022 Challengers 1.
Picking up some impressive talent
KJC eSports thought it best to take a look at the new kids on the block and was able to set up a quick interview with NAOS Esports. The newly-formed org picked up the impressive Fallen 5 roster that finished third in TEC – Challenger Series 6 back in December.
On the call was Oscar “Kakarot” Farin Jr., and the org’s head of content, Alfonzo Luis “Kitsune” Maralit.
Can you tell us a little more about NAOS Esports as a whole? How did it come to be?
Kitsune: Yeah so… NAOS as you know is a start-up org right now by Jappy or Levi (ign). He’s the owner of this org and he’s the head of esports. I’m the head of the creatives. As of now we only have the VALORANT team but we plan to expand to a female valorant team, to maybe mobile games as well. Of course, content creation too. We’re really excited about content creation. But now we’re really striving to be one of the top-tier teams in the Philippines, in-line with other teams. We think with the right support of the team we have right now we can actually make it there. VCT will be our first stepping stone for us to get there.
Well, as I said, I’m more of the content side of things but I still dabble in esports. Levi saw the goals of esports in the Philippines especially after the Team Secret run in the VCT. He thought that if we could make a team like that, which has high potential that can actually compete. And he [Levi] feels like this is the team that can do that. With esports and content hand-in-hand we feel like an org like this can really go big and make a name for ourselves. Even though we’re practically less than a month in, we’re already making waves in the scene and we think it’s because of the way we treat our people, our players and staff. We’re also putting in the time to learn more about esports. We’re really trying to build something new.
Can you tell us about how the team was formed / picked up?
Kakarot: After the TEC Run we got approached by NAOS, and [they] told us they wanted to pick us up. We discussed some things, and here we are now.
Kakarot since you’re not a stranger to the professional scene, how does your experience with NAOS compare to the previous orgs you’ve been in?
Kakarot: The transition from being an orgless team to being here in-house is smooth because they are treating us so well that we actually feel like we’re home and we’re just playing our game everyday. I think going into the VCT we’re preparing well and we’ll be ready in the qualifiers.
Compared to other orgs, like this is the best experience that we felt and got. And all the orgs I’ve gotten into this the best experience I’ve got.
So ayiun nga… like special treatment yung nakukuha namin and sa ibang org di namin makukuha yung parang ganito. Sobrang ayos din dito sa bootcamp.
(So yeah, they treat us like we’re special. You don’t really get this in other orgs. The bootcamp is really good too.)
Kakarot, with regards to the VCT, there are aspirational goals and there are realistic goals. What are yours (both) for your current roster coming into the VCT? How far are you looking to go.
Kakarot: [Aspirational] I think for the VCT if we meet Team Secret or SBE we want to beat them. That’s one of the goals for the VCT, beating the best teams here in the Philippines, and of course… qualifying for the APAC Challengers.
Realistically, we’re aiming for one of the top three spots to get us into APAC.
Kakarot, how do you feel your roster is shaping up against Filipino teams?
Actually mas nahihirapan kami kapag Filipino team yung kalaban compared to Southeast Asian teams. Pero this VCT we’re adjusting kase wala pa yung isang kasama namin, si jEEE, manggagaling pa siya from Qatar and di siya makalaro this qualifiers so mag adjust pa kami. Tapos ako na magiging Sova ng team.
(Actually we find it harder to play against Filipino teams compared to teams coming from around SEA. However, this VCT we’re still adjusting because jEEE, our teammate who’s coming from Qatar, won’t be playing in the qualifiers. Also, I’ll also be the team’s Sova.)
Anything else you wanna say to our readers, and those looking to join the VCT?
They should watch out for us. Just because we’re new, they shouldn’t take us too lightly. We’ve got a good team, we’ve got good people behind us. They should keep an eye on NAOS. Watch out for NAOS.
In the time since KJC eSports spoke with NAOS Esports, the organization has had a streaky string of performances. They’ve won seven out of their last thirteen matches. The org has also signed several up and coming streamers to bolster their content creation side of things.
NAOS Esports has been grouped with Looking For Org, South Built Esports and Zeal Esports for the VCT PH’s group stage. The matches will take place between February 10-20.
The NAOS Esports roster is as follows:
Oscar “Kakarot”. Farin Jr.
Emmanuelle Jonathan “JEEE” Buenavidez
Franz Kevin “kvzx” Dingal
Simon Jimuel “Blas” Blas
Jude Patrick “Z” Gunhuran
Shaun Matthew “blurred” Maglasang
Vince”backstab” Belino (Coach)
Alfonzo Luis Fernando”Kitsune” Maralit (Creatives Head)
Jappy “Levi” Sia (Owner & Head of Esports)