How Vanille Velasquez relates to Valorant’s first-ever Filipino agent

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She figured out her dream career early on in life, but she only became a professional voice actor five years ago when she became a part of the "Dubbing Academy," a televised voice acting and dubbing workshop on the now-defunct anime channel Hero TV in 2016. Less than a year later, she dubbed her first anime in Tagalog, Pandora in the "Crimson Shell."

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 14) — Tell the 11-year-old Vanille Velasquez, a self-confessed gaming and anime geek, that she will end up voicing Valorant's first-ever Filipino agent Neon years later, she might not have believed you.

That was the start of her flourishing career.

Velasquez told CNN Philippines she had two undergo two online auditions before she bagged the role in Valorant, a team-based tactical shooter online game. She described what she admires most in Neon, a player with speedy electricity-based abilities who hails from Manila but without the stereotypical traits of how a Filipino woman should behave.

"She’s a badass. She’s really confident and knows who she is and she knows what she wants and she’s not afraid you know to go after that. That’s the type of girl she is, she’s super confident," she said in an interview with New Day. "One of the things I love about how they created her is that they made her strong, female badass. She’s not a Maria Clara stereotype, I think that’s super cool."

She also revealed the trait she shares with Neon, "She has a sarcastic, dry kind of humor; her jokes are like that and I kind of share that with her, her personality is very similar."

She is also the voice of Zeri from League of Legends, another video game created by Riot Games.

"She is Filipino-inspired, which is why she says ‘hoy’ and she has a Filipino accent, things like that. She’s kind of the opposite of Neon wherein she’s happy go lucky, she’s very cheerful whereas Neon is more of sarcastic. But they share common Filipino core traits like love for their family; it’s in both of them and the strong sense of community. They both have that in them," Velasquez said.

Starring in two video games seems like an unattainable dream, but Velasquez was able to achieve them with a lot of passion and hard work.

"I used to think this was impossible. I’ve never heard of a local voice acting here... There are no shortcuts – I started doing this as a hobby when I was just 10 years old and then I started doing it professionally around five years ago? So this didn’t happen overnight. You have to be willing to put the work in," she said.