Smart Omega’s Toshi to aspiring ML pro players: Don’t quit, work hard for it

Published April 13, 2021, 3:53 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Photo from Smart Omega Esports 

Smart Omega star EXP laner Adrian “Toshi” Bacallo has risen to Mobile Legends stardom through sheer hard work and dedication. 

Together with his jungler teammate Salic “Hadjizy” Imam, Toshi talked about his humble beginnings of being a “ranked game boy” to becoming a mainstay in the MPL Philippines in an episode of the league’s Rise of Legends. 

Urged by his cousins, Toshi started playing ML in 2017 but he needed to wait for his father to come home from work at 5 p.m. as he did not have a cellphone yet. 

The pride of Tarlac bared that he wasn’t initially inclined to be a professional esports player, but his out-of-the-box mentality led him to this promising career. 

“Wala akong pake na maging pro. ‘Di ko alam na magiging pro ako. Gusto kong mag-think outside the box since sa family history namin, may naging engineer na, doktor, nurse, bakit wala pa nagiging pro player? Tapos ‘yun naisip ko, baka ako na ‘to (I didn’t know that I would become a pro. I want to think outside the box because in our family, we already have an engineer, doctor, nurse, but why don’t we have a pro player yet? Then I thought it could be me).” 

He was not able to enter the MPL from Seasons 1 to 3 but that did not dampen his determination as he continued to grind in ranked games and beat pro gamers. 

“Ginagawa ko, nagpo-post ako ng mga (match) history na kalaban ko yung mga pro player at sinsasabi ko na magpalakas pa sila kasi natalo sila ng kagaya kong ranked game boy lang (What I would do was I post match histories against pros and I would tell them to improve because they were getting beaten by someone like me who was just a ranked game boy),” the 20-year-old pro recalled. 

“Siyempre nag-boost din ‘yun sa confidence ko na kung kaya nila, kaya ko rin (Obviously, it boosted my confidence that if they can do it, I can do it as well).” 

Toshi was then scouted by Sterling Global Dragons (SGD) for his brilliant marksman play that gave birth to his popular marksman pose. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Having encountered obstacles on his way to the MPL, Toshi has a great piece advice to the aspiring pros. 

“‘Wag silang panghinaan ng loob pag natatalo sila. At ‘yung attitude lang nila towards the game na ‘di ka man manalo ngayon, mananalo ka ulit bukas (Don’t lose hope when you lose. If you don’t win today, you’ll eventually win tomorrow).”

“Kung gusto talaga nila mag-pro, magpupursigi sila. Sa mindset lang siguro nila, isipin nila na kung nagawa ko, magagawa rin nila. Tao lang din naman ako. Pare-parehas lang naman kami (If you really want to be a pro, you’ll work hard for it. You need to have the mindset that if I was able to do it, you can do it too. I’m just a human as too. We’re all the same).