June 25, 2024

Players Gonna Play: June Mar Fajardo and his DOTA 2 crusade that may or may not lead to immortality

Players Gonna Play: June Mar Fajardo and his DOTA 2 crusade that may or may not lead to immortality
“I’m not a player, I'm a gamer. players get chix, I get achievements.” Art by Mitzi Solano/One Sports
In the busy PBA scene where players often seek a breather from the grind whenever they can, 7-time MVP June Mar Fajardo of the San Miguel Beermen finds peace in a different field off the court — online gaming.


When asked about his digital hobby, Fajardo admits his affection for DOTA, revealing another side of the Kraken beyond the hardcourt.


June Mar’s journey from the courts to the factions has been slow and steady.


For over a decade now, Fajardo has found a nice balance between his professional basketball career and his love for DOTA 2.


@onesportsphl DOTA ang game before the game lagi para kay June Mar Fajardo! #PBAGameTayoDito #PBAonOneSports ? original sound - OneSportsPHL



“Kahit nga nasa practice ako, or nasa bahay ako, or pauwi ako galing practice, nanonood ako ng mga highlights ng DOTA or mga live ng DOTA,” June Mar said in a chat with One Sports.


“‘Di ako nanonood ng basketball [highlights].”


As arguably the greatest PBA player ever, it’s quite surprising to hear June Mar say that he doesn’t watch basketball highlights.


But when you consider the expectations laid on him by the Beermen, and by extension Gilas Pilipinas, perhaps his time away from the game is what allows him to truly be great.


“Ever since college ako nagd-DOTA na ako. Yun ‘yung way ko para ma-divert ‘yung attention ko from basketball to ibang bagay. Dati kasi pag nagf-focus ako lalo sa basketball, parang naba-blanko ako,” June Mar revealed.


“Kailangan ko ma-divert ang attention ko. Kapag uuwi ako sa bahay, wala muna basketball. Pag time na sa practice and game, focus ako sa basketball,” he added.


In a light-hearted tone, Fajardo claims to be an “Immortal,” which is the highest rank in DOTA 2. However, his true rank rests humbly at Crusader, which he’s proud to admit.


“Matagal na ako sa Crusader, ‘di talaga ako makalampas sa Crusader,”  he chuckles.


The reason for this? June Mar Fajardo says he and his online friends are the guardians of the Crusader, another joke that DOTA fans are sure to get and appreciate.


“Kami ‘yung taga-bantay sa Crusader, walang makakalampas samin.”




June Mar’s commitment to his hobby is as strong as his immortal career in the PBA. Even on Christmas Day, provided the Beermen don’t play a marquee game, you’ll most likely find Fajardo focused on his gaming rig.


His Tiktok gaming account, AHOS Gaming, has now more than 16,000 followers. It was established in late 2023. The Facebook version currently has 197k followers and the YouTube version, which doubles as his account for life vlogs, has 193k subscribers.


AHOS gaming is proof of how active June Mar can be when there are lulls in his ever-busy San Miguel calendar.


AHOS Gaming also allows Fajardo to have a platform to showcase his versatility even more so than the basketball court, where the Beermen usually go by his obvious strength as the biggest and most powerful player on the floor.


"Minsan nagc-carry ako, minsan support, pero usually mga ano talaga, safe lane ako, carry lang para chill." he nonchalantly remarks, mirroring his on-court demeanor with his relaxed approach to gaming.


@ahosgaming15 My first rampage!!🤣 #dota2 #rampage ? original sound - AHOS gaming



Still, the natural competitor in June Mar can and will inevitably rise. In online gaming, one of his proudest highlights is his recent first rampage in DOTA 2.


But amidst the competitive clashes in DOTA 2, Fajardo remains unbothered by the occasional toxicity that pervades the game. It’s the one quality that is innately in June Mar’s personality.


"Minsan may nagta-trash talk kasi hindi naman talaga ako magaling ‘eh, nage-enjoy lang talaga ako,” June Mar shared.


“Pampalipas oras ko lang ‘yung DOTA, so pag minsan, pangit ‘yung laro mo, minsan tina-trash talk ka. Pero okay lang sakin, hindi naman ako sumasabay sa trash talk.”


As he navigates being a star basketball player and a Crusader, the San Miguel mantra of “Samahang Walang Katulad” shines through in both of June Mar’s beloved activities.


Fajardo has found joy in meeting and keeping good friends via online gaming, and he hopes his fellow current and future “DOTA boys” can do the same.


"Sa totoo lang, mas marami pa akong friends na na-meet sa online kaysa sa labas,” June Mar said.


“Sa mga DOTA boys, enjoy lang sa game, bawal toxic. Then sa mga bata pala na [naglalaro], aral muna bago DOTA.”