Philippine esports community calls for health awareness amid passing of key figures

Michelle Lojo - Philstar.com
Philippine esports community calls for health awareness amid passing of key figures
Nexplay EVOS Charles Dave "Chad" Dela Pena and RSG Ignite Philippines' coach Ivan Emmanuel "Navi" Gacho

MANILA Philippines — The esports community, especially the Mobile Legends scene, was shocked with news of the passing of two of its most influential figures: former team manager of Nexplay EVOS Charles Dave "Chad" Dela Pena and player-turned-coach for RSG Ignite Philippines' coach Ivan Emmanuel "Navi" Gacho.

Dela Pena passed away last April 23, while Gacho's brother confirmed on social media that his brother died due to fatal arrhythmia last April 24.

Tributes for both men have poured through social media from different players, esports personalities, as well as the Mobile Legends Professional League.

Amid the difficult news, Philippine Esports Organization (PeSO) Secretary General Joebert Yu has voiced out the need for awareness on both physical and mental health in the esports community.

"We've been living in an era where playing games will leave your problems and hope they go away or you can try to forget about them...that is for a while. In reality, we all have to deal with problems in real life one way or another. Even in our industry, the physical and mental health issues are real," said Yu in a social media post.

Jab Escutin, general manager for the country's national esports team Sibol, shared the same sentiment, stressing the importance of putting more effort into the physical and mental needs of those in the esports industry.

"Everything we do to support essential initiatives like these no matter how small can save a life," said Escutin also on social media.

Both Yu and Escutin mentioned that they are planning initiatives to raise health awareness in the esports community. They have received support in the form of comments in their posts, including those from former Sen. Bam Aquino, representatives from different game developers, and other esports personalities.

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