MANILA—The Philippines national esports team recently said that Vietnam's decision to not include PC games Dota 2 and Starcraft II, and console game Tekken 7 when it hosts the 2021 Southeast Asian Games was beyond its control.
The Filipinos took home the gold in 2 of the 3 events at the 2019 SEA Games, which happened in Metro Manila.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Joebert Yu, secretary-general of the Philippine Esports Organization, said the sports body acknowledged the matter was out of its hands.
"It’s unfortunate [but] as the host country . . . Vietnam has the right to choose all the sports they want, they have the right to choose the sports they put in [the SEA Games]," Yu said.
"We will just talk about this . . . and we will decide. Although thank God we have Mobile Legends, there’s a high chance."
The organization is optimistic, though, that the country will remain successful in Vietnam.
This developed after Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced that it will be hosting 8 other esports games for the 2021 SEA Games, namely: Arena of Valor, Crossfire, FIFA Online 4, Free Fire, League of Legends, League of Legends Wild Rift, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and PUBG Mobile.
This will be the second time the SEA Games will feature esports as a medal event, after the Philippines, as the host country, staged it in 2019.
The Philippines fielded Sibol, the country’s national esports team for the last SEA Games, where it won the overall esports category by taking home 5 medals (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) in total.
The country dominated Dota 2, Starcraft II, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, as Sibol clinched 3 gold medals in those games. The team also took home silver and bronze medals for Tekken 7.
Sibol's Dota 2 team defeated Thailand in a thrilling Game 5, 3-2 after staging a come-from-behind win to win gold. They went for a gg push by destroying all towers at the middle lane of the map behind the massive net worth of the team's Phantom Lancer and Razor.
Sibol's Caviar Napoleon "EnDerr" Acampado also placed first in Starcraft II by winning 4 games over Singapore's Thomas "Blisk" Kopankiewicz.
The Sibol Mobile Legends team also took 5 games to defeat Indonesia to secure the championship. In the last game, they held the runner-ups to only 3 kills while securing 20 of their own.
However, the Philippines will only get the chance to defend its title in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
The Philippines is planning to send a total of 626 athletes to Hanoi later this year. This was previously announced by Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino on March 12, in a letter he sent to the Philippine Sports Commission.
Based on the list, a total of 18 players (16 men, 2 women) will represent the country in esports competition.
The 31st SEA Games will take place in Hanoi from November 21 to December 2.