“We’re aiming to be in the finals” – How MWL Yanagi is the kuya of the team
Valorant
June 24, 2022
Maura Yap
Jeremy “Yanagi” Cobar is no stranger to the intoxicating adrenaline rush of a professional match. It bears no necessary explanations why he would want his collegiate teammates to experience the same rush. With matches upon matches in various competitive games under his belt, Yanagi is proving the age-old expression that with experience comes mastery.

What made you want to join your campus esports org?

Opportunity siya sakin para mag-compete kasi ever since before pa, gusto ko talagang maglaro competitively sa esports. Ang pinaka-unang competitive na nilaro ko is League of Legends then pinursue ko na talaga yung pagiging pro nung naglaro ako ng CS:GO.

Did you join tournaments when you were playing League or CS:GO?

When I played League, usually mga pustahan lang sa tropa and sa batchmates ganun. Nung sumali na ko ng mga tournaments is sa CS:GO na which is na pumupunta pa talaga ako ng Manila to compete or online. Kasali na ko ng amateur team ng time na yun sa CS:GO pero hindi kami ganun kakilala. Right now I’m currently playing professionally [for Valorant], since I’m in a professional team. 

So you took part in the VCT circuit?

Yup. My first team in Valorant was Kadiliman then we transitioned our name to NCG.

Since when did you want to play professionally?

I guess that dream began when I was playing like casual League of Legends then nagkaroon ng pustahan sa mga tropa-tropa then nung nanalo kami parang gusto ko ng more pa, gusto kong ma-experience yung bigger leagues ganun. So dun na nagsimula lahat. Ever since nun after ko mag-League, nag-DOTA 2 din ako pero di naman ako nagtagal since sumisikat CS:GO nung time na yun.

How do you think joining Malayan Esports Club is affecting your professional career?

Our collegiate org helps us for exposure. Basically competing with other campuses kasi nung naglalaro kami ng CS:GO noon, yung pinaka-first na tournament namin nakalaban namin yung ibang campuses sa FIT. Nakalimutan ko yung tawag basta event nila yun before. So isa yun sa mga naging exposure namin na nakapaglaro kami sa mga tournaments na outside ng school namin. Sa school kasi namin, halos kami lang din yung nagcha-champion eh, so our campus esports org was like exposure for competing outside the school.

How long have you been playing Valorant specifically?

At the very launch of open beta, so I think June of 2020.

What made you pick up the game?

Basically ano siya, it’s a new game tapos like CS:GO pero with abilities like Overwatch so it’s interesting ganun kaya gusto kong i-try. Bago siya sa mata.

How do you keep making Valorant fun to play after so long?

Kaya siguro ako patuloy-tuloy naglalaro ng Valorant is kasi nae-enjoy ko siya like nagta-try ako ng mga bagong stuff like ibang agent. Usually hindi ako nagsi-stick sa isang agent lang, flex player talaga ako so tina-try ko mga bagong setup pag Killjoy o Cypher ako tapos Sova lineups tina-try ko rin ta’s paminsan sumusugod ako kahit initiator ako ganun. So like hindi lang ako sa basic concept ng agent, nagta-try ako ng mga bagong stuff.

So, who’s your favorite agent?

For now I guess it’s Chamber kasi sobrang interesting ng mga skills niya and usually yung headhunter niya lagi akong nakakapitas dun. It’s better than sheriff ganun.

Do you remember the first game you ever played?

Well, the first game actually that I played is CS 1.3 so it’s basically my first FPS game so I think that’s why from the very start I love playing first-person shooters or any shooter games.

Around what age were you when you started playing?

I guess I was like six years old I think, basta mga kinder or prep.

That’s such a young age to play, did someone influence you to play or anything?

Since my dad got us a PC, he installed a few games for us so the first few games I played were CS and Warcraft 3. Usually I played with my siblings.

What does your family think about you playing professionally now?

Nung una kasi, before COVID, talagang tutol na tutol yung mom ko sa paglalaro ko ng mga games especially kapag nagco-compete. Lagi niya kong sinasabihan na bawal ka umalis, bawal ka lumakbay ng Manila para sa tournament ganun so hindi ko na-pursue yung dream ko noon. Talagang nung COVID lang, this 2020 na pinayagan ako mag-compete since puro online lang naman lahat ng tournaments so g lang siya ng g, pinapayagan ako. Tapos nung pinayagan akong mag-pro kasi nagkaroon ako ng team tapos na-influence siya na I’m making a name for myself. Ayun, pinayagan ako pero dati tutol na tutol siya sa gaming career ko.

What other games are you currently playing?

Currently I’m playing Apex Legends and Lost Ark. Basically that and Rainbow Six Siege. I play those kinds of games when I’m burnt out from Valorant and need to refresh myself and need to stop thinking about Valorant. I just need to play any game that lets me relax.

What hobbies do you have outside of gaming?

Outside of gaming I guess I usually read manga or watch some movies. I work out from time to time but I guess that’s not a hobby. Usually I’m just watching anime or reading manga.

What kind of manga do you like to read?

Currently I’m reading a lot of Korean webtoons actually. Especially martial arts or regression type of stuff, also romance comedies sometimes.

If you could recommend one anime or manga right now, what would it be?

I can really recommend Spy x Family since right now it’s really booming. I read the manga before it became an anime and it’s really good. If they want a new one, I’d recommend Solo Leveling.

What’s your favorite take away from your last match?

I guess one of my significant plays was killing three people with my Raze ulti. It was a round in our Split map and it was a good game since it was a comeback from 4-11, then we went 14-12 so we were seven rounds behind.

IN VIDEO: Yanagi 3K with Raze ult

What was going on in  your mind during that comeback?

Actually from the very first rounds in our third map parang laruin nalang natin to, siguro kaya pa to. Tapos nung nagkaroon kami ng momentum and we were winning rounds, kaya na natin to, mapapanalo pa natin to. Honestly di ko in-expect na mananalo kami even though we did our best.

How do you feel about your team being so close to that LAN stage?

Konti nalang talaga. Gusto rin ng teammates ko na mag-compete sa stage tsaka rin ma-meet si Kyedae kaya ganun. It’s one of my teammates’ goal din since they rarely play tournaments and this is an experience for them in competing in a stage with lots of people watching.

What’s your pizza preference?

Pepperoni.

Just pepperoni?

I guess the taste of pepperoni pizza is really balanced and I don’t really like the taste of Hawaiian pizza, but I eat it. Just not very often.

Anything you want to say?

Follow me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Yanagifps) and TikTok (@yanagifps).

How about to your fellow competitors?

They should be prepared for us since we’re aiming to be in the finals. We’re coming back stronger.