MANILA, Philippines – The first day of the inaugural esports competition at the SEA Games, held on Thursday, December 5, hosted the group stages for 3 games: Starcraft II, Mobile Legends, and Hearthstone.
The Philippine representatives for Starcraft II and Mobile Legends make the cut for the playoffs to be held Friday, December 6. In Starcraft II, Caviar "Enderr" Acampado swept his group finishing with a 5-0 record. Justin "NuksPH" Santos had a tougher time, clinging on to the last playoff spot with a 2-3 record.
In Mobile Legends, the Philippine team treated the audience to an exciting finish, finding themselves in a do-or-die match against Thailand in what was the last battle of the night across all games.
Entering the match, the Philippines had a 3-1 record while Thailand was at 2-2. Thailand took the first game of 2, leveling the tally at 3-2 for both teams. The Philippines struck back decisively, snowballing to a dominant victory.
PH wins. #seagames2019 pic.twitter.com/oqAAxS3YCT — Gelo Gonzales (@gelogonzales86) December 5, 2019
Allan "Lusty" Castromayor said they were pretty nervous after Thailand took the first game. He explained they experimented a little with the lineup in the first game, leading to the loss. They had beaten Thailand handily in the pre-event matches after all. In the next game, he said they stuck to tried-and-true, and finally secured the playoff spot.
They're hungry to face Indonesia again, a team they went 1-1 against in an earlier match, and one they've lost to before in the championship of another tournament. They're looking for some redemption, and Castromayor said they want to prove that the Philippines can be the best again in Mobile Legends. Doing it for the flag just makes it a whole lot better.
"'Di pa rin ako makapaniwala na naglalaro ako sa SEA Games (I still can't believe I'm playing at the SEA Games)," he noted.
Sibol Mobile Legends are Kenneth Jiane "Kenji" Villa, Karl Gabriel "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno, Carlito "Ribo" Ribo, Jeniel "Haze" Bata-anon, Angelo Kyle "Pheww" Arcangel, Allan Sancio "Lusty" Castromayor, and Jason Rafael "Jay" Torculas.
Luck didn't smile, however, on Jacinta "Jia" Dee of Sibol Hearthstone, who was eliminated by Malaysia's Weng Kean "wkyew90" Yew, 2-1. Yew drew first blood, Dee took the second, but it was Yew who emerged victorious in the last round – effectively shutting the door on Dee's playoff hopes. Dustin "WaningMoon" Mangulabnan did not fare any better, failing to get into the top 3 in a pool of 6 players.
Dee was visibly disappointed after the loss, but looked on the bright side in a tweet:
Still thankful to be part of a historic event, and the fact SEA Games has esports at all is awesome for our community. Also I’m Patoyao’s (4-1) one loss so my pride isn’t completely gone I guess — Jia (@jiadee_) December 5, 2019
The games continue Friday, with the Hearthstone playoffs and bronze medal match happening from 9 am to 12:45 pm. The Starcraft II playoffs will happen from 12:45 pm to 4:30 pm, while the Mobile Legends playoffs will take place from 4:30 pm onwards. – Rappler.com