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Zico finds redemption in Cambodia


John “Zico” Dizon headed to Cambodia with a chip on his shoulder.

Before his stint with Burn X Flash in MPL KH, the 22-year-old tactician was coming off a two-season stint with Nexplay EVOS in the MPL Philippines.

With the help of former team analyst Neil “Midnight” De Guzman, Zico guided the team to a fourth-place finish in Season Eight – its highest in franchise history – before settling for a 5th-6th place campaign the following season.

The ex-ONIC PH roamer, without a doubt, earned many supporters along the way. Unfortunately, he also managed to pick up a few doubters on his way out of the fan-favorite franchise.

That, though, proved to be what he needed to get over the hump in his first foray into Cambodia.

“Sobrang importante saking manalo kasi unang una, gusto kong patunayan yung sarili ko sa mga nagdo-doubt sa akin. Kasi sobrang tao na nag-doubt sakin nung nasa Nexplay pa ako,” Zico said.

On Sunday night, Zico did what no other Filipino coach has achieved – leading Burn X Flash to the MPL KH Autumn title following a 3-1 victory over Logic Esports in the grand finals at the Aeon Mall Sen Sok in Phnom Penh.

And he definitely proved his doubters wrong after his historical achievement overseas.

“Ayun nga, gusto kong patunayan sa kanila na kaya kong magpa-champion ng isang team which is nagawa ko na. Ayun, sobrang proud ko talaga sa sarili ko, sobrang competitive ko kasi ayoko talagang matalo,” said Zico, who is set to represent Cambodia in the M4 World Championships.

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But what makes this all the more special for him is the fact that he was able to achieve this feat by building from scratch.

“Sobrang special sakin ng championship na to kasi napatunayan ko na yung sarili ko na kaya kong magpa-champion ng team from scratch,” Zico said in a separate interview with Tiebreaker Times.

“I’m really proud of myself, I didn’t expect na makakakuha ako agad ng championship within three months of being here, talagang trinabaho ko lahat nag-focus lang ako. I went all out with my players, gutom kami lahat manalo and nagkasundo kami sa iisang goal which is kunin yung championship title at M4 slot,” he continued.

Zico headed to Cambodia with a chip on his shoulder.

And he closed his debut season with another chip – only this time around, it’s finally in his hands.

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