PH to face off with Singapore in 'Starcraft II' SEA Games gold medal match

MANILA, Philippines – Caviar Encampado, better known as his in-game name "EnDerr" among fans of StarCraft II, will compete in the gold medal match for Starcraft II of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games esports competition on Tuesday, December 10.

Encampado defeated Vietnam's Tran "MeomaikA" Hong Phuc in the upper bracket finals, 3-2, Thursday, December 6. The match decided who would go on to the grand finals. The two traded wins in the best-of-5 series, with Encampado securing the first win, eventually finding themselves in a 2-2 tie.

Late in the 5th game, Encampado found himself in a hole, with Tran having considerable resource advantages. But the Filipino player somehow pulled a victory, destroying the enemy's base first.

Encampado, in a post-match interview, said the key had been the type of units they had employed. He used quicker, more agile units while Tran had slower ones. When he saw that Tran's army was still in the middle of the map, he found a way to quickly maneuver into the enemy's base, destroying the base, and securing the win. It's a rare scenario, Encampado said, something that may happen about two in 100 times. 

Tran fell to the lower bracket finals with the defeat where he faced Singapore's Thomas "Blysk" Kopankiewicz. Tran was expected to win the match but fell 3-1 to the surging Singaporean. Kopankiewicz had to go through 3 rounds of play in the lower bracket – including the defeat of Philippines' Justin "Nuks" Santos – just to face Tran. 

Encampado remains the favorite in the gold medal match, having already defeated Kopankiewicz once in the group stages. But Kopankiewicz has also had some success against Encampado, beating the Filipino player back in 2015, 4-0, in the championship match of the SEA LOTV Beta Anniversary Tournament, according to Liquipedia. –

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.