MANILA, Philippines – Late Filipino esports figure Aldrin “Dunoo” Pangan has been immortalized as Sibol once again uses “Lakad Matatag” as its battle cry for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
Philippine Esports Organization interim executive director Marlon “Lon” Marcelo said he is dedicating their SEA Games campaign to his former shoutcasting partner Dunoo, the other half of the tandem who coined the iconic catchphrase.
Lon and Dunoo popularized the “Lakad Matatag! Normalin! Normalin!” signature line in their Dota 2 cast of the match between Team Secret and Fnatic in the ESL One Katowice in 2018.
It has become one of the most iconic sound bites in esports, so much so that Sibol approached the duo to use “Lakad Matatag” as its slogan for the 2019 SEA Games.
Dunoo, however, was not able to witness Sibol change its war cry to “Muling Lumakad Matatag” for the 2022 edition of the biennial meet as he died from the coronavirus in August last year.
“I dedicate this campaign to him and to those who suffered from COVID,” said an emotional Lon in a mix of Filipino and English on Thursday, March 17, during the Sibol kickoff press conference.
“It is a bit of a bittersweet taste just because my partner had lost the fight to COVID last year. He was supposed to be at least on this stage to actually be here with you guys.”
Lon also revealed that Dunoo readily agreed to lend the “Lakad Matatag” tagline to Sibol even without pay.
“If you would actually need permission, that would be me, Lon, and Dunoo at the same time. I will never forget that day when he said that if it is for the country, why do we have to actually have royalties?” Lon said.
“[He said] let us give it for free, let us push it.”
Living up to the spirit of “Lakad Matatag,” Sibol eyes a richer gold haul in Vietnam as 10 gold medals will be up for grabs in esports.
In the 2019 SEA Games, Sibol captured three golds, one silver, and one bronze.
“For us gamers, and even for non-gamers, when they hear ‘Lakad Matatag,’ it is like a battle cry. It means walk strong, walk steady, head high.” – Rappler.com