Arena of Valor (AoV) - Samurai Gamers Signs First Esports Team

Samurai Gamers recently signed their first professional esports team. The Arena of Valor (AoV) team Dominitus Astra, will now be competing under the Samurai Gamers name.

Note: We wanted to get the news out prior to the start of the Valiant Premier League, so this press release is incomplete – check back for updates like player photos!

Samurai Gamers Signs First Esports Team

Samurai Gamers is extremely excited to announce the signing of our first professional esports team! The members of Dominitus Astra, one of the best Arena of Valor (AoV) teams in Southeast Asia, will now compete under the Samurai Gamers name:

Real Name In-Game Name
Ronn Lim (Team Captain) Vittorio
Joseph Norman JIDO
Patrick Erese Xy
Joseph Arvi Polancos RvP
Angelo Cuizona Relax
Samd Dimaculagan Magnifico
Kristoffer Ian Shotz
Floyd Manansala Floydee

We look forward to cheering the team on in upcoming Arena of Valor tournaments, including the Valiant Premier League, which begins tonight. The players will also provide our readers and their fans with streams, guides, and other great content.

Interview with Team Captain Ronn “Vittorio” Lim

First off, we’re extremely excited to have you join Samurai Gamers. What are the team’s thoughts on representing SG?

Vittorio: The team is actually very excited and at the same time pretty nervous on the pressure of representing SG, but overall, the team feels that we’re on the right track and we’ll give our best to live up to SG’s expectations

How long have you been into MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games? Did DA compete in other MOBA games before Arena of Valor launched in SEA? What sets Arena of Valor apart from the other MOBAs you’ve played?

Vittorio: I actually started playing MOBA games way back in the year 2004, I did play DOTA (Defense of the Ancients), but I was one of the people who played the original MOBA game, which was Aeon of Strife in StarCraft. DA (now SG) was originally a LoL (League of Legends) hobby group. We did compete in online tournaments back in 2015 to the first half of 2016. We won some tournaments but eventually lay low when the group splintered into different genres of games. Two of our current members, Shotz and Jido, were pro DOTA esports players participating in tournaments all over Luzon. Well, Arena of Valor for me was a more competitive and portable MOBA, it has the potential to be bigger since almost everyone with a smartphone could play it anywhere.

How long has DA (now SG) been around in the competitive scene? Has the roster changed very much?

Vittorio: The DA you know before it took the name SG was actually almost the same when it was founded. Original members since I started the group at season 1 are still here in our current roster which was me (Vittorio), Relax, Jido, Sammer and Floydee. We started competing in the mid-season where we participated in tournaments. Along the season, before it ended on December, we acquired three players which was Xy, RvP and Shotz to further cement our line up.

Are there any challenges you see in the Philippine esports scene that potentially holds back local talent from making it big internationally?

Vittorio: The only thing hindering the development is still the lack of major Garena events with higher prize pools. Arena of Valor is an international game, so sponsorships are really a major factor for a no-name player to make it to higher grounds. To put into perspective, winning a local Garena tournament does not sustain a local player to keep on playing Arena of Valor.

How did DA (now SG) originally come together as a team?

Vittorio: The original players were actually players I recruited back when I was playing for my first team. We were no-name players back then, we were considered subs although we won in internal scrims. Most of the time, we were silent in our first team. So we took that as an initiative to form another group. We hit the rankings early in season 1 and created DA (now SG) to further cement our team. Along the way, we picked up three of our eight-man roster. The funny thing was, two out of those three were from our rival teams, which we defeated two times in two separate tournaments.

I know you recently added a couple of players to the roster to bring SG to 8 players total. What goes into the recruiting and selection process for additions to the team?

Vittorio: The selection was based mainly on the skill sets of each player, like how many cards could they bring to the table. If they could use a lot of heroes, if they can follow instructions, and if their learning potential is good. There are also situations where we pick the person based on what the team needs. Like we acquired Shotz who was good at the marksman position.

Congratulations on making the top 16 of the Valiant Premiere League. Did you expect to qualify? What are your expectations heading into the final 16?

Vittorio: We did, although I don’t want to be branded as arrogant in my answer, we mentally and strategically prepared ourselves in Valiant. When we conducted our scrims with top-tier teams, we didn’t care if we lost, because we wanted to try out different hero lineups. We did meta lineups, but at the same time, we tried non-meta lineups. That set us apart from the other competitors in our bracket, although they were strong, they weren’t coping with the hero rotations. Every strat we used actually looked like a joke when we watched the replays of our games. So people tend to get surprised when we come through.

What are your overall goals competitively now that you’re part of Samurai Gamers? Do you think that you can compete with the rest of the world?

Vittorio: For now, our immediate goal is to rack up more experience, since I don’t want to go ahead of myself. There are a lot of top-tier teams here in SEA aiming for the spot to represent SEA in the international scene, and that’s what we are also aiming for. Let’s start with SEA first and then think about what comes next. In layman’s terms, “Conquer the region, and then conquer the rest of the world.”

Last question: You know every player loves to talk/complain about balance. In your opinion, how balanced is the game right now in terms of the current heroes? Any particular heroes you think should be nerfed or buffed in upcoming patches?

Vittorio: I think the SEA server is pretty much balanced. We don’t need to buff or nerf any particular hero as of the moment. We’re just waiting for the next patch update where ranged junglers would be removed from the current meta and where melee junglers will shine more with the tools and kits given to them.

Watch for Samurai Gamers in upcoming Arena of Valor events like the Valiant Premiere League!

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