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If Zico succeeds in Cambodia, Duckey foresees an exodus


Knowing what it’s like to pursue an opportunity overseas, Bren Esports head coach Francis “Duckey” Glindro made sure to hand John “Zico” Dizon pieces of advice ahead of his coaching stint with Cambodian squad Burn X Flash.

“First and most important thing is to learn the basics of the local tongue,” Duckeyyy told Tiebreaker Times.

“Acclimate with the culture; the food, the weather, the religion, and all that. It will not be long before Zico realizes that all these play a big role in understanding the player heuristics,” he added.

Aside from immersing himself in the culture, Duckey also reminded Zico to be aware of the local working conditions for overseas Filipino workers in Cambodia.

“Know the local working conditions and legislation for foreign workers, the last thing you want to happen to you is breaking the law. And don’t get sick, seriously don’t get sick overseas,” said the MPL Philippines champion coach.

Prior to his Bren Esports coaching gig, Duckey handled REVO – an Indonesian team under the EVOS umbrella – for a while before being promoted to the organization’s flagship squad EVOS Legends.

He came in as a deputy for head coach Bjorn “Zeys” Ong and helped the team conquer the M1 World Championships. He then returned to the Philippines and led Bren Esports to an MPL Philippines title in Season Six and the world title in the M2 World Championships.

Meanwhile, Zico became the second Filipino tactician to get signed overseas after Duckey paved the way in 2019. The former Nexplay EVOS head coach cited ‘personal growth’ as his main motivation for heading abroad.

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“I feel sad about it really,” said Duckey on the prospect of seeing more Filipino talents heading overseas. “The main reason I went to Indonesia was that my day job was getting too mundane. I had to do it to keep myself sane.

“Now, seeing a sudden surge of local esports personalities with their bags full of clothes and talent leaving the local scene for what feels like ‘looking for a greener pasture’ is the kind of reality most people don’t really know about,” he added.

Still, Duckey said that he is very happy for Zico and wished him well on his new journey: “I wish him well.”

He even said that Zico, who is coming off a two-season stint with Nexplay EVOS, has the capability to raise the level of competition in the region. Duckey stated that bringing in a Filipino coach in the budding scene is the perfect first step towards improvement, but also stressed that this won’t just happen overnight.

“No one can say for sure, but if Zico shapes their Meta based off of a deep understanding of our Meta,” said Duckey.

“It might bring forth a relevant change in their region. Will definitely not be an overnight thing, a few seasons might do the trick.”

If the former ONIC PH roamer yields exceptional results in his stint, Duckey believes that it could open a lot of opportunities not just for professional Filipino coaches but for amateurs as well.

“If this works for Zico and some other Filipino coaches who will be working in other regions for Season 10/Autumn Split and they do extremely well regardless of the result, we just might see a good number of Filipino coaches working overseas,” he said.

“There will definitely be more positive outcomes to this. Upcoming coaches and players will have their shot at the slots left open. There is a huge number of equally great esports athletes and coaches playing in the amateur scene that just might be better than the ones in the MPL including me,” Duckey explained.

Indeed, this route will produce a lot of positive things for the professional realm of MLBB. But should this trend continue, Duckey hopes for one thing, and one thing only.

“We’re probably heading in the right direction, I just hope that the best ones stay [here in the Philippines] and develop the youngsters to play in the highest level of MLBB competition.”

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