With the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian Games featuring Esports as an inaugural medal sport in the Philippines at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan, Metro Manila from December 1 to 6, the Philippine national team for esports has been christened Sibol and will be vying for the top seed spot in the six medal events, and a single demonstration event.
Sibol, a Filipino word which means “growth,” is tailor fit as a name for the country’s national team, signifying not only the steady rise of esports around the world but also the advancement of esports talent in the local scenes.
Utilizing the Philippine national colors, the national esports team’s logo incorporates the symbols of a leaf and the flame. The leaf symbolizes new beginnings while the flame represents the passion of the Filipino gamer. The shapes in the flame also subtly spell out the country’s acronym, PHI.
With Esports contested as a medal event in a multi-sport competition for the first time, it is also sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee after it was featured as a demonstration sport in the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Sibol will be competing in all six titles featured in the esports event of the 30th SEA Games, which include Dota 2, StarCraft II, Hearthstone, Arena of Valor (AoV), Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), and Tekken 7.
Sibol’s quest for gold at the Games starts with assembling the national team and several outstanding Filipino esports athletes will be directly invited into the team’s training pool. They include Carlo “Kuku” Palad and Kim “Gabbi” Santos for Dota 2, Caviar “Enderr” Acampado for Starcraft II, Kevin Kio “Gambit” Dizon and Jeremiah “1717” Camarillo for AoV, Carlito “Ribo” Ribo and Erwin “Yakou” Magno for MLBB, Andreij Hosea “Doujin” Albar for Tekken 7, and Jacinta “Jia” Dee for Hearthstone.
They will be joined by esports athletes who will prove victorious in the upcoming open qualifiers on August which accommodates any Filipino citizen over the age of 13. Once the Sibol training pool is complete, each player will be evaluated based on their mastery of their respective esport title as well as their compatibility with the rest of the team, among other factors.
Managers and coaches will be assigned per game, and they will be a part of the selection committee in charge of trimming the pool down to the final Sibol team that will compete in the SEA Games. The final Sibol roster for the SEA Games will be composed of seven players each for team games.
The 30th SEA Games run throughout November 30 to December 11, 2019 and eleven countries will be participating in the games, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor, and Vietnam.