For the first time in the history of the Southeast Asian Games, eSports will be included as a medal event.
It’s an opportunity the Philippines has been waiting for as our eSports bets, culled from millions of competitors that competed in various competitions, including The Nationals, will now have a golden opportunity to showcase their talent and grab the spotlight in the country’s hosting of the biennial meet.
The eSports National Association of the Philippines (eSNAP) wasted no time and assembled the best of the best to represent the Philippine SIBOL team to the SEA Games and secretary general Ren Vitug has every reason to feel upbeat of the Filipinos’ chances in the competitions.
“The reason why we have eSports in the SEA Games, it’s because we have a very good chance,” Vitug told FOX Sports Philippines.
Vitug won’t be surprised if our eSports teams collect four to five gold medals in the multi-sport event slated from November 30 to December 11.
“I’m targeting four to five gold medals. For a first time competitor in SEA Games, we’re that confident. First time in SEA Games, but players have been competing in the world level for the longest time,” added Vitug.
Vitug listed his bets in various titles like StarCraft, Dota 2, Tekken 7, and Hearthstone as potential gold medal winners.
“I would say for the gold, Dota 2, Star Craft, Tekken and Hearthstone. Our StarCraft player, Caviar ‘EnDerr’ Acampado, is a potential gold medal winner,” added Vitug, also the commissioner of The Nationals, the first national tournament for eSports.
But Vitug also cited several regional rivals considered as crack squads in different competitions.
“In Mobile Legends, we think, the strongest team is Indonesia, so instead of going with one full team, we decided to pool all-star teams. ML is challenged for the gold while AoV is hard. We’re looking for a bronze for AoV, just because the world champion is Vietnam,” added Vitug.
Even months before the SEA Games, Vitug and the SIBOL team have already identified their roles and the kind of teams they’ll be putting in to make sure that the country has competitive squads.
“We have three team games right now – Arena of Valor (AoV), Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Dota 2. So we give liberty to the coaches and the managers to build their own team, similar to how Gilas is being put up,” he said.
“There are different approaches in the team. For Dota 2 and AoV, which have solid teams, we opted to have a full team together para mayroon nang chemistry. But we have a different approach for Mobile Legends. Kasi it’s a game that we see ourselves na medyo challenged tayo for the gold medal,” added Vitug.