Visa secured: Omega all cleared to play for CODM worlds

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2022 02:29 PM | Updated as of Dec 06 2022 07:38 PM

 Smart Omega's Call of Duty: Mobile team. Courtesy: Smart Omega
Smart Omega's Call of Duty: Mobile team. Courtesy: Smart Omega

MANILA -- (UPDATED) Smart Omega’s Call of Duty: Mobile (CODM) team is all cleared to play at the world championships to be held in Raleigh, North Carolina from December 15 to 19. 

This comes after the squad secured their travel visas to fly to the world championships for their first offline international tournament appearance. 

"Ito na 'yon eh, ito na ang goal namin. Makakatulog na kami nang maayos actually, tuloy-tuloy na sa objective namin: manalo ng worlds," Omega coach Jericho Arambulo told ABS-CBN News ahead of their send-off party at a bar in Quezon City. 

In an interview with reporters last October, Omega Esports' management called for help from authorities in securing visas to the United States, which has been a perpetual problem for Pinoy esports athletes competing in western countries. 

The players and the coaches’ visas to the United States were approved Monday morning, and they were able to secure assistance from the Camarines Sur 5th District Representative Migz Villafuerte, House Majority Leader Lray Villafuerte, and Camarines Sur 1st District Rep. Tsuyoshi Anthony Horibata.

"It is both humbling and overwhelming when you get support from government officials who understand the potential in the growing esports scene in the Philippines," Smart Omega chief executive officer Christopher John Quimpo said, as quoted in a press release by Omega, Tuesday afternoon. 

 Smart Omega with the House of Representatives. Courtesy: Smart Omega.
Smart Omega with the House of Representatives. Courtesy: Smart Omega.

With the worries over visa approval over, the squad can pour their efforts into training for the tournament, especially conditioning themselves for the cold weather and time zone differentials. 

Omega is elated to finally step into the world stage. The squad's main core had the chance to compete under the Jeremiah NRX banner in 2019 but they failed to leave due to visa issues. 

For them, this is a step closer to getting their shared dream with former coach, the late Michael "Kyaaah" Belaya. 

"Sobrang importante sa 'min ito kasi inaalay namin 'yung pagkapanalo namin sa coach namin na si Michael," John Kenneth "KenDy" Pimentel said. 

The tournament will run from December 15 (evening, PH time) to December 19 (past midnight, PH time).