What started as a series of regional tournaments in different parts of the Philippines ended at the ESports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) 2018 as the Road to The Nationals held their grand finals for DOTA2 and Tekken 7 last October 27 and 28. Eight representatives for each of the games converged at the SMX Convention Center for the final round of battles in order to find out who will claim the lion’s share of the Php1.2M prize pool for the tournament.
On the DOTA2 front, one of Manila representatives, the Sterling Global Dragons (SGD), faced off against Cebu’s Station 751 in a best of five finals match. While SGD emerged the victors after four games, Station 751 refused to play the finals lying down, even stealing game 3 with a 17-minute blitz that stunned everyone. However, SGD never lost composure and in the last game, picked a lineup that included Timbersaw and Meepo.
Game 4’s early to midgame saw the SGD.Nasjo.33’s Timbersaw barrel through the bottom lane virtually uncontested, which gave SGD.MCY’s Meepo a significant amount of breathing room to farm away from Station.751.Liz’s Leshrac’s midlane harassment. The match steamrolled in SGD’s favor, the Timbersaw and Meepo providing great map control to deny Station 751 any chance of regrouping. GG was called at the 30:59 mark of the match, ending it in favor of Sterling Global Dragons.
The Tekken 7 matches brought with them high-octane hype as long time teammates Andreij Albar and Alexandre Lavarez of Playbook Esports (PBE) faced each other at the end of the Road to The Nationals Tekken 7 Grand Finals. Known as PBE.Doujin, Albar clawed his way to the top from Loser’s Bracket to face his rival Lavarez, known as PBE.AK. Both Doujin and AK have made names for themselves in the Tekken 7 scene, with both having regional competitive experience under their belts.
With AK sitting on a twice-to-beat advantage, Doujin his road to the championship needed a few more steps. Albar opened the Grand Finals with Paul Phoenix against Lavarez’s Shaheen, with the former securing close wins. AK stayed true to his main, while Doujin switched to Dragunov. It was a great set of matches, and came down the wire with Doujin’s patient offense getting the best of his opponent.
The Sterling Global Dragons took home Php600,000 for winning the Road to The Nationals DOTA2 championship while Andreij “PBE.Doujin” Albar walked off the ESGS 2018 main stage with a Php150,000 purse.
“It gives us great pleasure to have been the main platform for showing the journey of our country’s top esports athletes. We at ESPN5 have been pioneers and main movers of esports since 2015 and things will only get bigger as we move to The Nationals, the country’s first professional esports league to be shown on mainstream television,” said Coach Chot Reyes, CEO and President of TV5, the main broadcaster of the Road to The Nationals.
“It took these players months to reach the end of the road for this year’s Road to The Nationals tournament, and in the end, every bit of practice and hard work paid off. We at PLDT and Smart would like to extend our congratulations to the SG Dragons and to Doujin, who have set the bar for excellence in DOTA2 and Tekken 7 that others should reach for come next year’s tournament,” Andrew Santos, FVP and Consumer Marketing Head for PLDT and Smart, mentioned in a comment.
“Our dream is to cultivate world-class esports athletes and tonight, we have just taken a big step towards the fulfillment of that dream. The members of ESNAP are thankful for the support of PLDT and Smart, as well as the respective gaming communities and everyone who participated in this momentous tournament which showcases the rising stars of the Filipino esports scene,” Joebert Yu, Esports National Association of the Philippines (ESNAP), added.
The Road to The Nationals was just the tip of the iceberg as The Nationals, the country’s first-ever franchise-based esports tournament league, is just around the corner. News and updates regarding the league will be announced soon.
Powered by PLDT and Smart Communications, the Road to The Nationals is the place for the best of the best to showcase their talent and skill in a high-stakes competitive environment. The tournament series is open to all, and aims to take only the best teams and players in several regions across the Philippines. The Road to The Nationals is aimed to be a yearly grassroots event held in cooperation with the Esports National Association of the Philippines (ESNAP)