'The Nationals' possible springboard to SEAG egames gold
Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - March 29, 2019 - 3:30pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Nationals, the country’s very first professional egames league, opened shop Sunday with the main aim of giving egamers an avenue to excel while helping the country strike gold in the Southeast Asian Games where the sport will makes it debut in the country late this year.

Ren Vitug, The Nationals commissioner, said egames is a sport where Filipinos are world class but there is a huge gap between its grassroots and elite egamers. He thinks the league should help address that wide disparity.

“We all know we are world class when it comes to egames and we have a strong grassroots because of its immense popularity,” said Vitug in Friday night’s media briefing at the Cignal office in Mandaluyong.

“But somewhere in between, there is nothing. And The Nationals hopes to fill the vacuum,” he added.

Vitug said they also hope to help the national egames team seeing action in the SEAG train and prepare via The Nationals.

For the first time in the history of the sport, egames will be part of the SEAG calendar this year and will stake a total of six gold medals — two each from PC, mobile and consoles.

And The Nationals got a strong backing from Cignal, which was represented by no less than its president and chief executive officer Jane Basa and vice president of channel and content Sienna Olaso.

Cignal TV will air the league through eGG network.

The Nationals unfolded last weekend with a total of six teams — Bren Epro, Cignal Ultra Warriors, HF Emperors, PLDT-Smart Omega, Suha-XCTN Punishers and STI at the Gariath Concept Studios.

Three of the country’s biggest games, Dota 2 on PC, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on mobile and Tekken 7 on PS4, will be featured in the first year using a double-round robin, two-conference format.

Pay Maya and ESPN5 are also supporting the league.

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