Jessie Christy "JessieVash" Cuyco has been playing with Mineski for years, although he was absent from the team from November 2014 to March 2015. He plays a versatile support role, playing successful games on Tusk, Winter Wyvern and Undying over the course of the Frankfurt Major.
Mineski were one of the standout underdog success stories of the Frankfurt Major group stage. Having won the Southeast Asian qualifier, the Filipino team arrived in Germany as the top seed for their region and the only country representing the Philippines. In the group stages, they then managed to clinch 2-0 victories over both Alliance and EHOME that surprised everybody—even, apparently, them. This earned them a space in the upper bracket, and when their SEA counterparts Fnatic were eliminated by OG in the first round of lower bracket games they became the sole representatives of their scene at the Major.
Their fortunes at the main event haven't been as good, however. They faced a tough matchup against tournament favourite Team Secret in the first round of the upper bracket, which they lost 2-0. They then lost 2-0 against OG, as the latter continued their dream-ending streak through the lower bracket. Nonetheless, this was an impressive run. Like the Peruvian team Unknown.xiu, Mineski's success testifies to the fact that Dota is a truly international esport, with talent able to break through even in regions that lack the resources and training infrastructure of North America, Europe, and China.
A day after their elimination, I sat down for a chat with Mineski support player JessieVash.
PCG: What's the feeling like in the team at the moment, and for you personally?
JessieVash: It's good. We're still lacking in our practice schedule—we can't practice in the times we want. In the Philippines the teams are... in some practice games, they're not taking it seriously. That's the only problem for my team. We can't practice at the next level.
PCG: You had a really good group stage. How did you feel through those games?
JessieVash: I don't know, that day... we won straight 2-0 Alliance and 2-0 EHOME. We didn't expect to win against even Alliance, it was a surprise. But really we just played our game the way we want, the heroes where we are comfortable.
PCG: What happened coming into the main event? Did you feel more pressure?
JessieVash: Yeah! [Laughs] So much pressure. You can see in the game, the draft, in how we played—it gave pressure to every player on my team.
PCG: Did you feel intimidated by Secret at all?
JessieVash: In the Secret game, we had a chance to beat them. Really, the experience gap—how to end the game when we're the one who has the advantage—we still can't end the game to win.
PCG: That comes back to practice, right?
PCG: Many people, myself included were happy to see an SEA team and a Filipino team in the upper bracket at the main event. Did you feel any additional pressure because of that? Representing your country and your scene?
JessieVash: For me, I always like to represent the Philippines at the biggest events. For Kuku, this is only his second time getting to represent the Philippines.
PCG: This feels like a good patch from a spectator's perspective. How does it feel as a player? Are you happy with the metagame, with the heroes you're playing?
JessieVash: Yeah, but maybe that's why Europe is the one who has the meta now. They always draft some YOLO heroes—strength heroes. In Southeast Asia they play basic—two long-ranged supports. Here, we can see Secret picking four offlane heroes.
PCG: Support Tiny, yesterday.
JessieVash: Yeah, that's why they could pick Huskar—their opponent didn't expect them to pick the Huskar in the last draft. That's the experience gap again I think, for Puppey.
PCG: You did very well against a European team, however—Alliance. Was that different?
JessieVash: I'm not sure if Alliance are still in the top. I see them losing every game... before they played the Majors, they were winning. I think "Alliance is back!" already. I don't know what happened in the Majors games. Even in our game, it wasn't so hard to play against them. I see their skills and I felt that the team could match up against them.
PCG: What about OG? They were much more of an unknown.
JessieVash: In the OG games, we were really pressured by how they draft, how they play. They always pick Miracle- heroes that can carry them if anything happens. Even when they're losing early, we can't win the game.
PCG: We just saw exactly that, right? [This interview took place right after OG vs. Virtus Pro.]
PCG: Personally, then, which game did you most enjoy?
JessieVash: EHOME, I think. EHOME could be the number one team in China, I think. We played against them, I didn't expect to win even one game. We won 2-0!
PCG: Thanks for your time.
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