April Gamer of the Month: Mski.Owa

Wilson Astorga

     In the competitive gaming field of DotA, usually the players that portray the hitter / support roles are the ones that usually garner the spotlight after a game.  But then again, what about those players that are usually the “initiators” / “Semi-carry” players of the team during clashes every single game? What about their efforts of literally grabbing the right moment for an epic clash? What about their “no fear” virtue of eventually dying next after the support heroes? Can’t they have their own slice of fame? Well enough with my cliché drama that has been running in my mind for quite some time now. Haha! Now we go to the serious part.

     For April’s featured gamer of the month, we’ve decided to put a player that has been known not only in the local gaming scene, but also internationally due to his achievements alongside with his team for quite some time now. We present to you, Mineski-Dota’s very own utility player, Owa Dela Serna a.k.a “Baby Josh” according to his close friends.

     I got a chance to talk to owa thru on-line chat just before he was about to play DotA. Here’s some parts of our conversation that you’ll surely enjoy reading, with regards to his life as a gamer and as an ordinary person of course:


(Owa with Mineski-Dota's Captain, Wootz)


So Owa, tell us some basic information about yourself?

“Hello, Ako nga pala si Joshua Basañes Dela Serna 18 yrs old turning 19 this may 5. I'm the Semi Carry of Team Mineski. Minsan solo mid ako minsan solo lane, pero kadalasan trilane ako.”

[Hi, I’m Joshua Basañes Dela Serna, turning 19 this coming May 5, and I’m the Semi-carry of Mineski-Dota. Often times I’m solo mid or solo lane for the time. But usually, I’m the tri-lane hitter.]


Advance Happy Birthday to you then! So, for how long have you been playing DotA? And what was the first hero that you’ve used back then?

“Almost 3-4 years na kong naglalaro ng dota. Ang unang herong ginamit ko ay vengeful spirit. Nung unang laro ko ng dota kala ko parang wala lang, kasi di ko pa alam ung mga ibang bagay tungkol dun.”

[I’ve been playing for almost 3-4 years now and the first hero that I’ve used was Vengeful Spirit. At first, I thought DotA was just a game for killing time because I don’t know the other details about it.]


Any favorite Hero and Item/s perhaps?

“Ang favorite hero ko ay si Priestess Of The Moon dahil helpful ang mga skill nya para sakin. Ang favorite item ko ay Guinsoo dahil eto ang kadalasang item na nagpapabaliktad ng laro.”

[POTM is my favorite hero because her skills are very helpful to me as a gamer. And Guinsoo is my item choice because it is usually a “Game Changer” item.]


(HappyFeet during the team's younger days)


POTM is my favorite hero also, what a coincidence… hahah! Anyway, before becoming part of Mineski-Dota and HappyFeet, were you part of any teams before hand?

“Unang naging team ko ay BearBrand. then Happyfeet2 hanggang sa nabuo kame na iisang team na lang at yun ay Happyfeet (owa,julz,rr,john,wootz)”

[BearBrand was my first team back then. Then HappyFeet2 was my next team, until Julz, RR, John, Wootz, and I became part of HappyFeet]


What was the first tournament that you’ve ever won with HappyFeet. Are there any memorable experiences that you might be able to share?

“First tournament na nanalo kame ay nung MPGL against Mineski. Tuwang tuwa kame nun kasi syempre dream come true ang matalo namen ang mga idol namen.”

[MPGL was the first tournament that I’ve won alongside with my teammates at HappyFeet. We were very happy at that time because it’s a dream come true for us when we’ve won against our idols.]


Well, that’s good news for a newly formed team back then. By the way, what was your first international exposure as a professional gamer?

“Unang international tournament namin nun ay ung sa The International sa Germany (Gamescom). Kabado ako nun syempre first time at napakalaking event agad ng aming sinalihan.”

[The International (first ever DotA 2 tournament) that was held at Germany last year was my first international exposure alongside with HappyFeet. I was very nervous back then because it was my first time. And the event itself was very huge.]


(From L-R: Wootz, Bimbo, Julz, Owa, and RR)


I’ve heard about that too, if I can clearly remember, you won against a Chinese powerhouse team. Going back, what did you and your teammates with Mineski-Dota felt after parting ways with John a.k.a Jojero last year(who is now part of iZone125)?

“Nung una Naninibago pa kame syempre matagal din namen sya nakakampi. Pero wala namang sama ng loob na naiwan kaya okay lang naman un.” 

[It was uneasy for us at first because John has been part of our team for a long period of time. But there were no harsh feelings afterwards and all of us are still good friends.]


(Owa with his Girlfriend Pat)


So enough with your life as a gamer, let’s now talk about the other side of Owa, your personal life. What does a person like Owa do when he is away from DotA, his life as a child of his parents? And what are his other priorities as a person?

“Pag walang practice sa dota or dota2 usually naglalaro lang ako ng counter strike 1.3 samin or minsan naghahanap ng makakabonding kahit ano just to have something to do. Magdate minsan with my girlfriend, mag surf sa internet, mag pub games, makipagbonding sa tatay kahit saglit lang. Ang priorities ko ngaun ay ang Girlfriend ko, ang team at ang Family ko.”

[I usually just play CS 1.3 in our area, or sometimes I go along with my friends so that I can bond with them. I also go out with my girlfriend if I’m free from our practice, surf on the internet, play pubgames, or just have a precious bonding moment with my Dad coz’ I don’t have any sibling and my mom is working overseas. Right now, I’m greatly focused only on three things; my career as a gamer, my girlfriend, and with my family.]


Well said! So, for this upcoming GMPGL, how are you and your teammates plan and prepare?

Tumitingin tingin kame ng mga replays. Then onting laro ng magkakasama kame, bet games at kanya kanyang diskarte para ma-practice.”

[We just watch replays, then play alongside with the team. Play games with other teams with matching bets to add some spice to the game, and we do our own personal practice and training to find our own self-confidence.]


Thank you for sharing your time with us Owa! Any greetings you would like to say?

“Binabati ko nga pala Sina Jerry Ocampo, Bei Manuel, Ronald Robins, Dar Cayabyab, Ate Eds, Boss empty, Nattefrost, Ana Miele , Mineski Family , Happyfeet Family, At sa lahat ng kaibigan ko at mga fans .”

[I would like to personally greet Sir Jerry Ocampo, Bei Manuel, Sir Ronald Robins, Sir Dar Cayabyab, Miss Eds, Boss Empty, Nattefrost our team manager, Ana Miele, My Mineski and HappyFeet Family, to all of my friends and fans. Especially to my parents, and to my girlfriend Pat.

     Catch Owa, alongside with his teammates; Wootz, Julz, RR, and Bimbo, as they compete with the top other teams in our country today for this month's Gigabyte™ Mineski Pro-Gaming League this Sunday, April 29, at Mineski Infinity Taft Avenue Manila.

*Photos used courtesy of Owa's personal Facebook page and HappyFeet / Mineski DotA's Fan Page.