Team SMG with  Nikobaby and Oli


Nikobaby & Oli to Stand In For Team SMG At APAC Predator League

Ammar Aryani
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Team SMG have announced that Nikolay "Nikobaby" Nikolov and Chan "Oli" Chon Kien will be its stand-ins for the Asia Pacific (APAC) Predator League 2022 tournament.
This marks the return of Nikobaby to the Southeast Asian region, after previously playing with WarriorsGaming.Unity (WG.Unity) and Mineski in 2019.
Nikobaby had previously announced on a live stream that he would no longer be playing in the competitive scene after the 2021/2022 DPC season, after his three year stint with Alliance.

While the off-season is still ongoing with transfer rumors, Team SMG was not hesitant to announce its roster for the currently ongoing Asia Pacific (APAC) Predator League. However, its roster announcement was a surprise to many as the organization announced that Nikolay "Nikobaby" Nikolov and Chan "Oli" Chon Kien will be standing in for Wilson "poloson" Koh and the recently departed Daryl "iceiceice" Koh.

While Oli was recently signed by Talon Esports as its newest hard support, Nikobaby’s return to the region was unexpected to say the least as he had announced previously that he will no longer be playing competitively.

Nikobaby returns to SEA after 3 years of leaving the region

Despite the roster shuffle season still ongoing, the SEA region has provided its own form of entertainment during the off-season with the Asia Pacific (APAC) Predator League tournament. The tournament features some of the top teams in SEA, with Team SMG, ChubbyBoiz (former RSG stack), Polaris Esports and Execration in the mix.

Team SMG was lacking an offlaner for the tournament, after Daryl "iceiceice" Koh was released by the organization at the end of the 2021/2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season. However, it found reinforcements in the form of Nikolay "Nikobaby" Nikolov and Talon Esports’ Chan "Oli" Chon Kien, as Wilson "poloson" Koh was unable to attend the tournament.

Many were surprised by the return of Nikobaby to the region, as the Bulgarian carry had previously announced his retirement from the competitive scene to focus on live streaming. Nikobaby had previously spent 3 years with Alliance, however the whole roster was released after not qualifying for TI11 (The International 2022). Additionally, Nikobaby has had experience in the SEA region before as he had played for WG.Unity (WarriorsGaming.Unity) & Mineski in 2019.

As for Oli, he recently joined Talon Esports as its newest hard support after a four year stint with Invictus Gaming. However, he would need no time to adapt into SMG’s roster for the duration of the tournament as half of the roster is from Malaysia.

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Ammar has been actively engaged in the esports industry in Malaysia in multiple roles in the past. Now, he utilizes his esports expertise to create insightful and meaningful content as the de facto Dota 2 writer at AFK Gaming.

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