MANILA – Sibol's women's Wild Rift team unpacked so much energy when they faced the press during the national esports team's press conference last March 17.
The six-piece group stuck with each other throughout, throwing banters at each other while answering the press' questions.
Two months later, they sat at the big stage in Hanoi, Vietnam, the same energy wooing the hearts of Filipino esports fans (even doing cartwheels and piggy-back rides much to the enjoyment of the local community.)
Speaking to the media during their welcoming press conference in Quezon City, Gia "Jeeya" Llanes shared that their chemistry as a team played an important role in securing the SEA Games gold medal.
"Yung bonding namin as a team - lagi kaming magkakasama, Parang iisa na lang 'yung vision namin, iisa yung galaw namin, tapos yung pag-train namin sa greatness. Tapos 'yung bonding talaga namin as a team, kasi kung wala 'yon di namin maiisip 'yong iniisip ng isa. Yung utak namin iisa na lang talaga," she said.
The group and their coach John Eric "Recmeister" Peña stuck with each other since they were part of Nexplay Esports.
This is what makes the team stand out, the team shared ABS-CBN News in a separate interview, as other teams continue the trend of rebuilding and reforming rosters.
"'Yun 'yung pinaka-strength nila. Ever since hindi sila nahihiwalay and that is something na gusto kong mabigyan ng value ng mga org sa Pilipinas," he said.
"Ang nagiging trend, bubuo ng team at matalo, and ire-reform ang roster. Talo, build, reroster. It's not about finding the best players -- it's about building one."
In fact, the biennial tilt, they believe, made their friendship closer.
"Sa bootcamp namin, mayroon kasi mas madalas na magkakasama. Like by partners, by threes ganoon. Tapos unexpectedly noong nasa hotel kami, by twos, then yung hindi laging magkasama... 'Yung tandem na magkasama sa kuwarto is hindi talaga laging magkasama," Christine "Ray Ray" Natividad shared to ABS-CBN News in a separate interview.
"Ang nangyari, kung sino ang magkakabali-baligtad ang trip 'yun yung mga magkakasama at feeling ko mas naging close sila parang nung SEA Games, mas naging magkakakilala pa kami," she added.
THEIR WINNING SHOTCALL? HUNGER... FOR FOOD
During Game 3 of the gold medal match, Singapore looked to turn the game around and prolong the series.
But before Singapore could mount a comeback, the Filipina Wild Rift squad were a step ahead, forcing a team fight to wipe out their opponents and destroy their Nexus for Sibol's first gold medal in Hanoi.
The winning shotcall?
"Habang naglalaro sila, sinasabi nila 'huy gutom na ako, boy, boy tapusin niyo na boy'," Angel “Angelailaila” Lozada shared in jest to ABS-CBN News.
Singapore at the time had stolen the Baron Nashor, but Sibol were quick to respond with a wipeout, not even allowing the beast to respawn for the gold.
Sibol's women's Wild Rift team were dominant from the group stages, only conceding a game against Thailand in the semifinals.
Looking back at their dominant run, Charize “Yugen” Doble, known for scoring the game-clinching penta-kill in the semifinals versus Thailand said their efforts were worth it.
"Sobrang worth it po ang practices natin kung ano-ano pang ginawa naming pag-aaway, adjustments na ginawa, sobrang worth it po ang lahat," Yugen said.
The team shared that they will rest before getting back to training for future tournaments.