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Life After GG: The Fabled Split-Pusher Pugak

Pugak confirms the origin of split-pushing

Maouie Reyes

Life After GG is an article series produced by Mineski.net. In it, we feature various retired or inactive PH pro-gamers and what they're up to after their times in the competitive scene.

In this edition, we interviewed Joseph “Pugak” Agojo Divinagracia, a former competitive Warcraft III Dota player who popularized split-pushing.

M-King: How did your career as a competitive Dota 1 player start?

Pugak: I used to have long breaks in between subjects when I was a student at the Far Eastern University, and as a way to pass the time, my classmates and I tried to learn Dota. From there, I was able to meet and play against a lot of players to a point where I constantly competed for informal wagers.

I was a frequent customer at ipad, a computer shop along Morayta, Manila. I met most of my Dota friends there, as well as my teammates. I was able to make a lot of friends just from playing Dota.

Where did ‘Pugak’ came from?

Pugak was actually my father’s nickname. When I was in grade school, that’s what my cousins, who went to the same school with me, call me. Back then, it was common thing to be called with the same name as your father’s.

Is it true that before Alliance came up with their Rat Dota, the Philippines already had its Pugak Gaming?

Actually, I can no longer remember it accurately, haha! I guess we were playing at Mineski Grounds that time and my team, ipad2, were up against my idol Bong “BG01” Silva Jr’s Mineski. We were in a huge deficit and my Shadow Fiend was crucially picked off.

They proceeded with a five-man push so I bought back, teleported to their base, and destroyed their towers. We were still able to pull off the win and I just heard them say, “na-pugak tayo.” I guess that’s how it started.

What stopped you from pursuing your career as a professional Dota player?

I stopped playing competitively when I graduated from college back in 2010. I never tried competing professionally for Dota 2 when it was released in 2011 because I already needed to work. I was a real estate agent for four years, but I realized that I was unhappy with it. I also encountered a lot of personal problems.

How did you end up working as police officer?

Ever since I was a child, I was really driven to serve our country. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a family composed of uniformed men and women and teachers from both of my parents’ sides.

I also had this mindset that before I reach the age of 30, no matter what happens, I will become a policeman. After more or less than a year of being unemployed, I joined the police force.

Are there similarities between being a competitive Dota player and a policeman?

Yes, there are, especially when it comes to training and camaraderie. You have to instill the mind over body attitude. When playing Dota, you’ll avoid losing as much as possible, even though you’re already sleep-deprived and exhausted.

It’s the same when joining the Philippine National Police. The moment you enter, you should be mentally and physically ready. You should never think about giving up when you’re inside the training center because what you’re doing is not just for yourself; it’s for your family and for your country.

Teamwork also plays a huge part both in playing Dota and being in service as a police officer. You should never leave a man behind and all your team members must cooperate.

Pugak (third from the left) Gaming: A Legacy Cemented

Do you have some memorable moments as a police officer?

Yeah, I do, but most are highly confidential. Maybe the most special one goes to knowing that I have 199 brothers from my class that will always be by my side no matter what.

How about as a competitive Dota 1 player, can you share us your best achievement?

It was so long ago, I can’t even remember it. What I won’t forget, though, are the friends I made through playing Dota. It’s what matters most anyway; the mutual respect you give and gain from treating people well.

Do you still find time to play Dota?

Not anymore, the last time was when I was designated at Isabela last March. I’ve been so busy recently, but I still look forward to playing to pass some time and for some good vibes. I’m just waiting for the right time.

What can you say about the young Filipinos who represent the Philippines at international Dota 2 tournaments?

Just keep it up, representing our country is surely something to be proud of! This young generation of Dota players has really upped their game, I once tried watching an international tournament but I can no longer understand what’s happening, hahaha!

They should also remember the words 'never give up and 'never stop learning' because it’s true. You can do everything once you set your mind to it. No one can really stop you, not even an ex-battalion!

Any close friends you would like to thank?

Shoutout to my Dota friends, you know yourselves, and to boss Jord. To our policemen, take care and I salute all of you!