H2WO and Renejay from Nexplay Esports are all set and geared up for the MPL PH Season 7, which finally kicks off this week. Amid their preparations for the tournament, AFK Gaming managed to squeeze in some time between the team's busy scrim schedule to host an interview with Renejay "Renejay" Barcarse and John "H2WO" Paul Salonga, a few days before the tournament kicks off. We spoke about Nexplay's ambitions, how they're preparing for the upcoming Mobile Legends season, as well as H2WO and Renejay's life in the Bootcamp, amongst other interesting things.
Q: This is your second MPL PH Series. How are you guys preparing for the upcoming MPL PH season 7?
H2WO: For now, our preparation is doing ok because of our scrims with the Indo players. The results are ok, unlike last season where we weren’t able to do scrims with other countries, only at home. Also, we don’t want to showcase some exotic heroes yet.
Akosi Dogie: Oi Oi! You guys lost yesterday! (on the scrims)
H2WO: For now, our preparation is ok because we get to do scrims against (teams from) other countries. The results are ok. We won against Indo and Malaysia (teams). Last season we weren't able to do scrims with (teams from) other countries, only against teams from home (the boot camp), the Nexplay Salty. Our preparation is ok for MPL PH Season 7. They can look forward to what we will be showing.
Q: What has your team learned from your MPL PH season 6 run?
H2wo: Before, we really lacked discipline last season. But now, we found a solution, and we’re disciplined.
Renejay: I've learned discipline, and we keep on practicing, unlike before, where we didn’t have enough practice. We weren’t able to play with Indonesian teams due to internet connection issues. Hence, we weren’t able to perform properly last season.
H2WO: Last season, we were really behind the meta.
Q: Among the participating teams for the MPL PH season 7, what do you think will be Nexplay’s toughest challenge?
Renejay: For me, all of them (the teams) are challenging. Everyone is practicing and working hard. That’s why for me, all of them are challenging.
H2WO: For me, I think Bren. Because until now, they are really strong. I also want revenge as we lost to them last season during the playoffs. That’s why I want to fight against Bren.
Q: Among all the heroes in MLBB, who is your favorite hero? And why? (One each for RENEJAY and H2WO)
H2WO: For me, it’s Ling. Because that’s whom I got famous for. I was the number one Ling in PH. I like heroes that are hard to capture; that’s why my favorite is Ling.
Renejay: I like Chou. He’s good for micros and chasing down their funnel or segways. Chou is really a good hero.
Q: Do you have any tips for your favorite hero? What items and runes to build?
Renejay: For me, it totally depends on the enemy. If my opponents are tanky heroes, my first item would be (Blade of) Heptaseas due to its passive penetration. So Heptaseas, BoD (Blade of Despair), Endless battle, Brute Force, and maybe Malefic Roar or Immo (Immortality), or Queen’s Wings.
H2WO: The tips I can give to Ling Users, maintain your energy when using Ling. Don’t carelessly engage if you don’t have enough energy. Always reserve your ultimate to kill the (enemy) core.
Renejay: Regarding my Chou, save your ultimate for the funnel so you can make a comeback. If you catch the (enemy) funnel, you won’t have to worry about their carry in winning fights.
H2WO: Also, for Ling, the best targets are the marksmen. For my Ling build (I think everyone already knows this, they can see it in my streams), My first build is Endless Battle, but it depends on your enemy. You don’t have to build it first. So Demon Hunter, Endless Battle, and Berserker (Berserker’s Fury). If you get these three core items, you can destroy everything. For the last items, you can go Immo (Immortality) or Wings (Queen’s Wings), or Brute Force.
Q: Which of the heroes in MLBB do you hate to play against? And why?
Renejay: For me, it’s Diggie. I really don’t like Diggie. He lacks thrill. All he does is throw bombs. His ultimate is annoying. When I’m playing Chou and Diggie uses his ultimate, I can’t kick the enemy core.
H2WO: I want to play almost all heroes. But the hero I hate is also Diggie. That hero is too much cancer. If his ally is Bruno, Diggie can easily protect him, making Bruno very hard to kill.
Renejay: Especially if it’s a Diggie strat.
H2WO: I’m the one who gets punished.
Q: What are your thoughts about the two teams who made it through the qualifiers, Work Auster Force and Laus Playbook Esports?
Renejay: I wish them good luck. They shouldn’t be too confident. They need to practice, unlike us before. More practice and more scrims. They’re already in the MPL. All players in here are pro players and are good at the game.
H2WO: They shouldn’t be too confident, unlike us before. All we did before was live streams, and we couldn’t do scrims. But the two teams that qualified are actually strong, Work Auster Force and Laus Playbook Esports. But good luck to them. Our first game is against Laus too. We’ll see if Laus is worthy of joining the MPL.
Q: Which of the participating teams are you looking forward to playing against in the tournament?
H2WO: For me, I want to fight against Work (Work Auster Force), also Bren. I want to try to go against Work. They seem strong. Also, I want to fight Bren because they are World Champions.
Renejay: For me, I want to fight Exe (Execration) and Bren.
Q: Do you think MPL PH being held online is going to hinder your team’s performance?
H2WO: I think the hindrance for us is the internet connection. I think that’s the only problem. Sometimes, the wifi is the problem in here (the boot camp).
Renejay: We play together, so communication won’t be an issue. For me, the internet is the only problem. Hopefully, it won’t lag. That’s what’s going to make things hard for us.
Q: Akosi Dogie is currently your head coach. How is your team doing under his guidance?
H2WO: Boss Dogs is doing ok. He really helps us in our scrims. He watches our replays. If we lose, he tells us what we did wrong. As a coach, Boss Dogs is doing fine.
Renejay: Same thoughts.
Q: Amid the pandemic, how is your life in the boot camp?
Renejay: It’s still the same. We don’t usually go out in the boot camp even without the pandemic. We usually just do livestreams.
H2WO: We play ML all day, so we don’t go out.
Renejay: Maybe due to the pandemic, I miss going out with our families. Sometimes, we can’t all hang out because we all can’t fit in the car due to the passenger limit and social distancing.
H2WO: But our policies here in the boot camp are ok. We get to eat and practice well.
Q: Did the pandemic affect your training sessions?
Renejay: It doesn’t affect us because we do things (scrims) online. Same with the MPL, the internet is the only problem.
H2WO: It doesn’t affect our scrims because we are together so that we can communicate easily.
Q: Give us a short description of your training sessions for MPL PH Season 7?
H2WO: We wake up in the morning, 8 or 9 AM, then we do live stream from 9 to 12 for three hours, then we do scrims at 2 PM.
Renejay: After 12 PM, We have a one-hour break, where we eat and do what we want.
H2WO: Our scrims are at 2 PM, 5 PM, and 8 PM. We do three scrims a day.
Renejay: Sometimes we have a 10 PM session. Around 12 hours of training a day, including the live streams.
H2WO: Live streaming is also part of our training. Since we get to play and practice other heroes during our live.
Q: What is your advice for your fans looking to follow the same path as you?
H2WO: My advice to my fans is if I can do it, so can you. Just keep grinding.
Renejay: Of course, we’re all just humans. If we can do it, you can too. If you want to, you work hard on it. You won’t achieve it instantly just because you want to. You need to work hard to achieve your goals. Even us pro players started as newbies.
Q: What do you think is something your team needs to improve?
Renejay: I think we’re doing well as a team.
H2WO: We just need to discipline ourselves.
Renejay: We can work on our discipline and focus.
Q: Do you have anything you would like to say to the other teams in the MPL PH season 7?
H2WO: Good luck to all the teams. Let’s all give our best in the MPL so our viewers will enjoy it.
Renejay: Good luck to all the teams. Let’s not underestimate each other.
Q: What is your favorite food?
H2WO: I love Sinigang (Philippine Sour Stewed Dish).
Renejay: For me, it’s Kare-Kare (Philippine Curry Dish).
Q: If your overseas fans visit the Philippines, what food would you recommend for them to try?
H2WO: Sinigang, or Balut (Boiled Fertilized Duck Eggs). I want them to try Balut.
Renejay: Adobo, and also Balut altogether.
Q: What places would you recommend for them to check out? Why?
Renejay: In our Boot Camp, we don’t travel a lot, so I don’t know.
H2WO: For me, Palawan. That place is beautiful.
Q: Other than MLBB, what other esports do you watch or play?
H2WO: League of Legends, but we usually focus more on ML. I played League of Legends before I switched to ML.
Renejay: For me, DOTA 1 and League of Legends. I used to play DOTA. But I’m not strong (in DOTA).
Q: Who is your favorite non-MLBB content creator?
H2WO: My favorite non-MLBB streamer is Cong, Cong TV. If we include MLBB streamers, I will choose boss Dogs.
Renejay: For me, I would also choose Cong.
Q: Do you have any shoutouts?
Renejay: Shoutout to my family, to Nexplay, thanks for taking care of us. Shoutout to boss D (Akosi Dogie) and the whole Aether House, and my girlfriend. To my family and friends, shoutout to you guys.
H2WO: Shoutout to my family, and also boss Dogs, including Nexplay, thanks for taking care of us, to our sponsors, Realme, Domino’s (Domino’s Pizza), Sharp, Mountain Dew, to all the sponsors of Nexplay, to Mika Salamanca. Thank you to all fans who support Nexplay. Please continue to support us in the upcoming MPL PH Season 7. Our first match is on March 20.
One of the biggest esports events in the Philippines, MPL PH Season 7 sees eight of the best Mobile Legends esports teams from the Philippines along with two rising teams from the qualifiers to compete for the title of MPL PH Season 7 Champion and the lion’s share of the $120,000 Prize Pool.
Keep up with the live scores, schedule, stream links, and more with AFK Gaming's hub for the MPL PH Season 7.