Sibol eyes strong finish in SEA Games with last three esports events

Michelle Lojo - Philstar.com
Sibol eyes strong finish in SEA Games with last three esports events
The Sibol CrossFire team
SIBOL / Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine national esports team Sibol hopes to end their 31st Southeast Asian Games run with medals in the last three events taking place Sunday at the Vietnam National Convention Center.

As the League of Legends, CrossFire, and PUBG Mobile tournaments reach the final stretch, the Filipino gamers hope to add to the two-gold haul of their women's Wild Rift and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang teammates.

Sibol's League of Legends team, bannered by Jan Raphael “RVL8” Retance, Jan Edward “Creshowo” Hortizuela, David Emmanuel “yjyyyyyyyyyy” Tapang, Hezro Elijah “Parzival” Canlas, and Andre Dominique “Calumnia” Soriano, started the semifinals with a stumble as they were trounced by Malaysia in game one, 8-24.

But the loss did nothing to hinder their spirit as they immediately bounced back to take the next three consecutive games, 3-1, to assure the Philippines at least a silver.

CrossFire events opened Saturday with only four nations competing, following a double elimination bracket (upper and lower bracket).

This means that Sibol's first match against Indonesia had a lot at stake: a win would already mean a guaranteed medal. 

Sibol took an early 3-0 lead in game one which they maximized even as Indonesia answered back with a couple of consecutive round takes, eventually winning the game at 10-5. 

Game Two saw both teams trading rounds but the Philippines kept their composure and eventually emerged victorious at 10-7, assuring themselves at least a bronze finish and moving to the Upper Bracket Final where they would go head-to-head against host nation, Vietnam.

The Upper Bracket match saw Vietnam take a 1-4 lead but Sibol managed to fend them off, defending two match-points to try and tie the game but would eventually fall short at 8-10. 

On the brink of being relegated to the lower bracket, Sibol started Game Two strong with two consecutive round wins but Vietnam answered back with five consecutive wins to retake the lead. 

At the switch, the Philippines once again tried to catch up to Vietnam's lead but would eventually fall 6-10. 

Sibol faces Indonesia once more in the lower bracket final Sunday at 10:15 am (Manila time), after the latter had eliminated Laos in the first lower bracket match. 

A win will guarantee them at least a silver finish while a loss would place them third in the event.

The Sibol CrossFire roster is made up of Aldrin Paul "Aldrin" Borabon, Christian "Revenge" Amores, Dennis "ZDD" Ramos Jr., John Kenneth "zYK" Alde, and Matthew "EL1" Arnaez.

In PUBG Mobile, the Philippine teams ended the first five maps of the Final at first and third respectively, after securing three of the five chicken dinners. 

The next five maps saw most teams picking out Sibol's first team (PH1) early, even placing last in Map 4, 9th map overall, which dropped them to 7th place at the end of the day. 

Sibol's second team (PH2) was also early pickings in Map 8 and Map 10, but managed to finish in the top five for the other three maps, ending the day at second place, 16 points behind current number one team, Vietnam. 

The last five maps will be played also on Sunday beginning 4 p.m. (Mnaila time).

The Philippines is represented by members of KHI Esports and Zap Battlegroundz in PUBG Mobile.

Sibol's debut in the 2019 SEA Games held in the Philippines saw the national esports team win five medals in total: three golds, one silver and one bronze. 

In the current edition of the biennial meet, they have won two golds and are assured at least another two medals.




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