MANILA, Philippines – The top four finishers of the previous Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL) Philippines season have been invited to the Team Sibol qualifiers for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Blacklist International, Onic Philippines, Omega Esports, and Nexplay EVOS will vie for a chance to represent the country and defend the gold medal Team Sibol won three years ago when esports debuted in the SEA Games.
The qualifiers, which kicks off on Friday, January 21, is comprised of two phases.
Phase 1 is an open qualifiers where even squads outside the professional scene will see action, while Phase 2 is the playoffs where the top eight teams will battle, with the champion earning the right to don the national colors.
Blacklist, Onic, Omega, and Nexplay will compete in Phase 2.
However, some of the teams’ best players will not be able to participate in the SEA Games qualifiers due to the newly enforced age restriction.
Unlike the previous SEA Games when a 15-year-old Karl Gabriel “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno helped lead Team Sibol to the title, players now have to be 18 years old by the time the biennial meet comes off the wraps on May 12.
Blacklist, the reigning world champion, will miss the services of young stars Kiel “Oheb” Soriano and Edward “Edward” Dapadap, while Onic will be without jungler Kairi “Kairi” Rayosdelsol.
Omega key cogs Duane “Kelra” Pillas and Kiel VJ “Kielvkj” Hernandez will also sit out the qualifiers.
Joining Blacklist mainstays Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna, Danerie James “Wise” del Rosario, Salic “Hadji” Imam, and Dexter “Dex Star” Alaba in the lineup are Kyle Dominic “Dominic” Soto and Lee Howard “Owl” Gonzales.
Even without Kairi, Onic kept its lineup intact with Allen “Baloyskie” Baloy, Gerald “Dlarskie” Trinchera, Jaylord “Hatred” Gonzales, Mark “Markyyyyy” Capacio, Paul Ian “Beemo” Sergio, Nowee “Ryota” Macasa, and Ralph Benedict “Flick” Hamoy.
Representing Omega in the qualifiers are Patrick “E2max” Caidic, Joshua “Ch4knu” Mangilog, Billy “Z4pnu” Alfonso, Renz “Renzio” Cadua, Dean Christian “Raizen” Sumagui, Jhonville “Outplayed” Villa, and Cesar Jefferson “Amethyst” Santo.
A member of 2019 SEA Games squad, Jeniel “Yellyhaze” Bata-anon will get another shot to play for the Philippines as he leads Nexplay, composed of John Paul “H2wo” Salonga, Renejay “Renejay” Bacarse, Jhonwin “Hesa” Vergara, Mariusz “Donut” Tan, Kenneth “Cadenza” Castro, and Raineil Jhim “MP The King” Lagronio.
Team Sibol will also hold qualifiers for the League of Legends: Wild Drift and Crossfire games. – Rappler.com