Singaporean esports organisation Bleed Esports is looking to upgrade its Dota 2 roster ahead of the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2023 Tour 2 with some Southeast Asian Dota 2 heavyweights.
The org is picking famed offlaner Daryl "iceiceice" Koh and Djardel "DJ" Mampusti as their new offlaner and position 4 support player, respectively.
They will replace Natthaphon "Masaros" Ouanphakdee and Prieme "PlayHard-" Ejay Maque, who were moved to the bench after Bleed's sixth-place finish at the DPC 2023 Tour 1.
Former teammates back together
DJ told Yahoo Esports SEA in an exclusive interview that he was looking forward to join forces with an old teammate in iceiceice. The two previously played together in Fnatic from 2018 to 2020.
He was also excited to play with Souliya "JaCkky" Khoomphetsavong and Teng "Kordan" Tjin Yao as they are both "young and really good players."
"Ice is a great player and i think what makes him a good teammate is that he has this unique and funny personality that can bring the team together in some ways," said DJ.
The legendary support player also said that Fnatic's disbandment and departure from Dota 2 was a "sad moment for him" because he really liked the players in the team. DJ had been with Fnatic since 2017, and was the driving force behind the organisation's dominance over Southeast Asia during that span.
"Even though we lost most of our series in the DPC, I genuinely think that we didn't play too bad because almost all of our games were too close and it was just a matter of one or two teamfights we could've won a lot of games," said DJ.
"I just think that our biggest issue was the lack of leadership in the team and having a leader is actually what I'm looking forward to playing with bleed. Dubu was our coach in Fnatic 2018-2019 and I really liked the system that he brought to the team back then."
Kim "DuBu" Doo-young is currently Bleed's position 5 support while Lee "Forev" Sang-don is the current head coach for the team.
'Playing with DJ a big part of the reason' for iceiceice
Meanwhile, iceiceice told Yahoo that he's really looking forward to playing with DJ again, and that he's looking forward to playing in Singapore again.
"Being able to play with DJ was a big part of the reason. Also, the team sounds mentally sane on paper with dubu/kordan and Jackky as my mates," said iceiceice.
"Another reason was that the team house is based in Singapore so that goes well with my fear of flying. It's nice not to fly."
Iceiceice also added that while he felt pretty good, he also felt "rusty" and that age was catching up with him. He also thought that Talon, Execration and Geek Slate would be teams to watch out for this season.
Prior to joining Bleed, iceiceice had an uninspired stint with Team SMG. The Singaporean offlaner had spent the 2020 to 2022 DPC seasons out West, playing in North America for Evil Geniuses from November 2020 to November 2021 before moving to Western Europe and playing for Team Secret until August 2022.
With DJ and iceiceice now in Bleed, the organisation is looking like one of the biggest contenders in the Southeast Asian regional league.
The second Tour of the 2023 DPC season will be held from 12 March to 2 April for Division I, while Division II teams will play it out from Apr 4 to Apr 25. Teams in the second Tour will be playing to qualify for the Berlin Major 2023, which will take place from 26 April to 7 May.
Bleed Esports Dota 2 roster:
Souliya "JaCkky" Khoomphetsavong
Teng "Kordan" Tjin Yao
Daryl "iceiceice" Koh
Djardel "DJ" Mampusti
Kim "DuBu" Doo-young
Lee "Forev" Sang-don (coach)
Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com