MANILA, Philippines – Sixteen of the best DOTA 2 e-sports teams in the world went on the offensive in a bid to win the lion’s share of a P130-million ($2.94 million) prize pool.
A team made up mostly of Filipinos took home around P6.6 million (approximately $150,000) in a 5th place run in the the DOTA 2 Asian Championships (DAC).
DOTA 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game where two teams of players attempt to assault and destroy an opposing team’s main base.
The Korea-based Rave team – composed of Ryo “ryOyr” Hasegawa, Jio “Jeyo” Madayag, Djardel “Chrissy” Mampusti, Mark “Cast” Pilar, and Michael “nb” Ross – took on the Chinese team Big God in their final match, losing the best-of-3 competition two matches to one, according to e-sports site Gosu Gamers.
The struggling pro-gamer
On the Rave Facebook page, Jio Madayag explained how being a professional gamer looking for support is a struggle.
He wrote: “There was a point in time in my career here in Korea where I could only eat once a day because I had no money, I lost about 15-20 lbs probably because of this. But no matter what, my family still supported me so I could do what I want and I can only be thankful for having a family like I do. Whatever earnings I have left from tournaments, I send it to my family, they need it more than I do, to pay for house and my brother’s education.”
Madayag also said he was motivated by a love for the game to become a professional gamer. “I will never play this game just for the money, [because] if I wanted money I would just finish school and get a job,” he said.
“I just love this game so much and that is why I keep on competing.”
During the match-ups, Senator Benigno Aquino IV’s Twitter account cheered team Rave on as they fought on in the DAC.
The senator’s Twitter account not only wished them well against their opponents, but also showed pride in their showing against team Big God.
Editor’s note: DOTA 2’s The International Tournament has a higher prize pool than the DAC at $10 million. We have amended the article accordingly.