#TaonNgTagumpay: PH esports team aims for more medals in upcoming SEA Games

Kennedy Caacbay, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 25 2023 09:57 PM | Updated as of Apr 26 2023 12:16 AM

PESO and Sibol executives, Sibol athletes, and representatives from SMART, RealMe, and Hotel 101. Handout photo
PESO and Sibol executives, Sibol athletes, and representatives from SMART, RealMe, and Hotel 101. Handout photo

MANILA - To either defend its gold medals or win more in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, the Philippine esports team has been “training relentlessly” and completed its roster after weeks of several qualifiers, the Philippine Esports Organization (PESO) said recently.

A total of 47 athletes and 7 coaches will represent the Philippines at the 32nd SEA Games on May 5-17, with the first batch flying to Hanoi on the first week of May. The contingent will be fielded in seven medal events:

•    League of Legends: Wild Rift
•    PUBG Mobile Team
•    PUBG Mobile Individual
•    Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) (men)
•    Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (women)
•    Crossfire
•    Valorant

“This year, we’re gunning for more titles, more medals, and more wins for Sibol. The team has been training relentlessly and I’m confident we’ll continue making legacies for Filipinos in the global esports map,” Marlon Marcelo, PESO executive director, said in a statement released last Friday, April 21.

Sibol is the national esports team of the Philippines.

“We really wanted to have the best players for Team Sibol and the intense tryouts made sure of that. We may have come from different teams playing different titles previously, but now we are united by the shared goal of defending and winning more gold medals,” said Jabs Escutin, Sibol general manager who spearheaded the training for the new roster of athletes.

Sibol also embraced #TaonNgTagumpay as the official battle cry and hashtag for its campaign in the SEA Games, Asian Games, and International Esports Federation Championships, veering away from last year’s “Lakad Matatag” mantra.


During last year’s SEA Games in Vietnam, the second time esports was included in the regional competition, the Philippines placed third in the category as it won four medals:

•    1 gold for MLBB
•    1 gold for League of Legends: Wild Rift
•    1 silver for League of Legends (PC)
•    1 silver for Crossfire

Vietnam topped the category, winning 7 medals (4 golds, 3 silvers), followed by Indonesia with 6 (2 golds, 3 silvers, 1 bronze).

Esports made its debut in the SEA Games during the 2019 edition which was hosted by the Philippines. It featured six games: Dota 2, Starcraft II, Hearthstone, Tekken 7, Arena of Valor, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

The Philippine team at that time nabbed the most number of medals: 3 golds (for Dota 2, Starcraft II, and Mobile Legends); 1 silver, for Tekken 7; and 1 bronze, for Tekken 7.


The Philippines remains a menace in the MLBB scene, bagging golds in the last two SEA Games. Sibol will try to defend its title with an entirely different roster, headlined by MPL S11 top-seed Bren Esports and a sixth man from Onic PH.

•    David Charles "FlapTzy" Canon (Bren Esports)
•    Michael Angelo "KyleTzy" Sayson (Bren Esports)
•    Angelo Kyle "Phewww" Arcangel (Bren Esports)
•    Marco Stephen "SUPER MARCO" Requitano (Bren Esports)
•    Rowgien Stimpson "Owgwen" Unigo (Bren Esports)
•    Nowee Cabailo "Ryota" Macasa (Onic PH)
•    Francis "Duckeyyy" Glindro (Bren Esports head coach)

Blacklist International bannered Sibol’s roster for Mobile Legends last year.

Indonesia is a team to watch out for in the upcoming SEA Games as its representatives have had a steady presence in headliner titles such as MLBB and Valorant.

It will be fielding in pro stars such as RRQ Hoshi star jungler Albert “Alberttt” Iskandar and reigning MPL Indonesia finals MVP Sanz “SANZ” Gilang for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

Sibol’s Valorant contingent, who are all from Valorant Challengers squad Oasis Gaming, will also be facing a steady competition in Indonesia, who are fielding mostly players from their Valorant challengers’ champions, Bigetron Arctic. Thailand, a huge contender, will be sitting out Valorant.

Sibol’s Crossfire team will have a go at avenging themselves from the campaign in Hanoi, where they succumbed to the host team Vietnam in dominant fashion.


The entry of esports in the SEA Games is another testament to the rising fame of the sport, where video games are played in a highly organized manner by more competitive gamers who undergo rigorous training in boot camps.

Prior to being a SEA Games event, esports, which some describe as also a virtual reconstruction of traditional sports, had already figured in competitive tilts organized by such video game publishers and companies as Valve, Tencent, Razer, and Riot Games.

With substantial cash prizes up for grabs, the games have attracted players and boosted their popularity as well as their player base and audiences.

--With a report from Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

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