Former Evil Geniuses (EG) carry and The International 5 (TI5) champion, Clinton "Fear" Loomis, thinks that current EG midlaner Abed "Abed" Yusop is the best mid laner from Southeast Asia right now.
In a recent Twitch stream where he covered the Dota 2 PGL Arlington Major, Fear was analysing a match between EG and BOOM Esports and got to comparing Abed and BOOM Esports midlaner Erin Jasper "Yopaj" Ferrer.
In Fear's opinion, while they are both skilled midlaners, he believes that Abed is "the best SEA mid laner" in the world right now.
In the match between EG and BOOM Esports, Abed had Puck while Yopaj was on Ember Spirit in game one. Both heroes were on their most played heroes for Dota 2 patch 7.31.
Fear praised Abed for his laning ability as a midlaner among other players in SEA, a region well known for their aggressive style in that role.
"Abed is the best SEA midlaner, is that like a fair thing to say? I think it's pretty fair. There are a lot of good SEA midlaners and I believe Abed is the best," said Fear.
While Fear firmly believed that Abed was the better of the two, he still respected Yopaj's ability to play his signature hero, Ember Spirit.
"Yopaj is not the best SEA midlaner as far as laning mechanics and skills. With Ember Spirit, I'd agree, but I think Yopaj's hero pool for heroes that he actually lanes well with is quite small," said Fear.
"Yopaj is good at pressing his buttons, he's good at using his hero, but his laning itself? I see him get owned a lot in SEA in just pure laning mechanics."
Ironically, Yopaj scored a solo kill on Abed right after. BOOM Esports went on to win that game, with Yopaj's Ember Spirit having a KDA of 11-1-17 while Abed struggled and ended the game with a score of 3-6-1.
Yopaj and BOOM Esports also qualified for the upper bracket of the Arlington Major Playoffs while Abed and EG will have to start in the lower bracket.
It was an interesting statement by Fear so we took the liberty of comparing the two players and seeing how they stack up to each other.
Since the start of Dota 2 patch 7.31, the two players have played almost the same amount of heroes. Yopaj has played 17 heroes while Abed has played 18. That sounds like the same thing but in reality, it's not.
Both teams competed in all the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) events such as the second and third Tour along with the ESL One Stockholm Major.
However, Yopaj played in significantly more tournaments, such as Gamer's Galaxy Dubai Invitational 2022, ESL One Genting Qualifier, and Gamers Without Borders 2022.
Yopaj has played fewer heroes than Abed while joining three more tournaments, which suggests that EG's midlaner is the more versatile mid between the two.
In the second DPC Tour, Yopaj has the third best KDA of 8.47. In the third Tour, he maintained his placing with a 7.52 KDA. Abed was significantly ahead in the second Tour, having the best KDA in the season of 13.78. In the third Tour, Abed placed second, with an impressive 9.18 KDA.
It's a little unfair to compare the two players competing in different regions, but it does establish how well each midlaner dominates the region they play in.
Abed's record in North America establishes him as the king of the region.
The only tournament both players competed in this year was the Stockholm Major and Abed takes the victory there again, with a 4.17 KDA to Yopaj's 3.77.
The numbers seem pretty clear so far, in terms of both hero pool and game impact, Abed has had the better DPC season so far.
But the season is not over yet and with both players competing in the Arlington Major, it will be exciting to see which midlaner can perform better on the international stage.
So far, both midlaners are neck and neck with one another. According to data from Dotabuff, Abed currently has a KDA of 5.70 while Yopaj is not far behind with 5.69.
We will have to wait until the Arlington Major ends, or for another showdown between BOOM Esports and EG to take place, before we settle the debate on whether Abed or Yopaj is the best midlaner from SEA.
Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.
If you're a fan of Dota 2 both as a game and as an esports title, check out our Dota 2 page. From news to results, to the latest game meta or builds, as well as player interviews, there's something for everyone.