YanYa and Luminosity just getting started after Apex Legends LAN debut
YanYa and his teammates on Luminosity
Luminosity ALGS | Provided by Luminosity

YanYa and Luminosity just getting started after Apex Legends LAN debut

International performance puts Mexico on the Apex Legends map

Luminosity Gaming’s Saul “YanYa” Ocampo Plascencia is no stranger to being accused of cheating by some members of the Apex Legends community. Players like Spacestation Gaming’s Mark “Dropped” Thees and TSM’s Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen speculated on a certain instance where YanYa had used an out of bounds exploit that skirts a gray area when it comes to competitive Apex. But Dropped noted he wasn’t looking to get SCRY banned.

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“I wasn’t out to get ghanjamen banned and never understood previous accusations against him,” Dropped tweeted.

Also known as Ghanjamen, YanYa has had plenty of others accuse him of cheating in online play due to his performance. Going into their first LAN event, the Apex Legends Global Series Split 2 Playoffs, the Luminosity squad had a lot to prove.

These guys describe themselves as an aggressive, edge team that isn’t afraid to take on any other squad they encounter.

“We just like to prove that we’re a fighting team,” said Jacobo “NMEgo” Rios. “We don’t mind taking any fights or head-ons. We do have our rotations and try to be smart about how we approach things. but we know in gun skill, we can have the edge every single time if we position ourselves correctly.”

They showed this playstyle off during the ALGS Split 2 playoffs,where they took fifth place overall at their first LAN event. YanYa went above and beyond when it came to showing what he’s made of, tying Team Liquid’s Brandon “FunFPS” Groombridger for the highest average damage dealt per match during the ALGS Split 2 playoffs.

YanYa was also fifth in kills for the North American Split 2 players – just behind the fourth-place ImperialHal. With this kind of in-person performance, no one could doubt YanYa or Luminosity anymore.

With this showing under their belts, the former SCRY squad proved they could stand shoulder to shoulder with the best teams around the world, and that their offer from Luminosity, which came just a week before the Split 2 playoffs, was more than deserved. Representing an organization for their first-ever LAN event might seem like a high-pressure proposition, but NMEgo pushed his team to rise to the expectations LG set out for them.

“LG was the one that put way more pressure than the other ones to do better. And in some way, we were kind of afraid of choosing the best one, that is LG,” said their coach Steven “Pistillo” Rojas. “But NMEgo pressured us. NMEgo said: ‘We can do it. I believe in us.’ He made the kind of final decision to make the step to bring the best of us into LG, that takes the best out of us.”

Though it was a big decision with a lot riding on it, NMEgo was confident in his team’s ability to perform alongside the best of the best in their esport.

“In all honesty, I never had the signing curse in mind,” NMEgo said. “I wasn’t really scared. Just in my case, I feel like it motivated me more to just perform and do our best.”

Both their signing and performance at the ALGS Split 2 playoffs have put the Luminosity squad at the top of the Mexican Apex Legends scene. Though part of North America, Mexico is unique in that many players from the country will play alongside those from South America, along with their peers from the United States and Canada. But according to Pistillo, Mexican talent isn’t always as recognized as it should be.

“There’s talent in Mexico, there’s talent in all the Americas, but I think the serious problem about it is there is no support behind it,” he said. “There’s no orgs that want to help to get Mexicans and pressure them to do better.”

With Luminosity behind them, NMEgo, YanYa and Luis Enrique “Neazul” Ramos Suarez have that drive to do better. Their first Apex Legends LAN allowed them to show the world that they’re strong competitors who can win fair and square. After this event, YanYa was confident in his team’s future.

“We could have won this LAN, but we need more experience,” he said via Pistillo translating. “We don’t need skill, we just need experience and we only get experience through time. So basically I think we’re in a good spot to get this championship.”

If YanYa and his teammates can build on their Split 2 playoffs performance, he may just be right. The Luminosity squad have already made their mark on both Mexican and international Apex Legends competition, but it looks like they’re just getting started.

[Disclosure: Luminosity Gaming is a subsidiary of Enthusiast Gaming, which owns and operates Upcomer.]