Five years had passed but the images and the “OG” chants of the Filipino crowd during The Manila Major 2016 remained vivid to the memories of the two-time The International champion and Dota 2 great Johann “N0tail” Sundstein.
Speaking during the media roundtable organized by Red Bull Gaming on Saturday, N0tail looked back to the time where he and his OG team played in front of the energetic Filipino crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena back in June 2016.
“We’ve been in a few times (in the Philippines). Manila Major was one of the great tournaments we also got to go to and it’s been, I’d say one of the most energetic Dota experiences I’ve had,” said N0tail during the virtual press conference.
N0tail and his OG crew which then featured other Dota stars like Tal “Fly” Aizik, and Andreas Franck “Cr1t-” Nielsen were amazed with the reception of the Filipino Dota 2 fans during the tournament.
“Communications were really high, people tend to really want to play, really love the game. A lot of people, they follow the pro scene so a lot of people really recognize us, when we were in the pubs,” recalled N0tail.
N0tail, back then, was still far from the accomplished player that he is today. His OG squad won that Major. He went on to win two more iterations of The International few more years after in 2018 and 2019.
He is also now considered as one of the highest earners in the esports industry.
Despite dozens of LAN tournaments he had played in and the amount of trophies and prizes he had won, the Manila Major holds a special place to N0tail’s heart even up to this day.
“I still think to this day that it’s probably the nicest crowd and most hype crowds that cheered for everyone and I think that’s something that all teams like. To feel hyped that both teams are getting cheered on and there’s more to play for, all of that and just generally passion for the game and love for the game,” said N0tail.
“I miss Dota in the Philippines, like international Dota in the Philippines, I hope one day we’ll get it back.”