AFTER two days of battling of wits, teamwork, and strategies, roughly 38 esports athletes will compete and represent Davao City in the Mindanao qualifier stage of the E-Palarong Pambansa 2023.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Call of Duty: Mobile, Valorant, League of Legends pc, and Wildrift are the games that will be played in the tournament.

On May 29, 2023, AIM PH, a Valorant team from Davao City, won the selection process conducted from May 28 to 29, at ZeusX Esports Cafe against eight teams.

AIM PH team members are John Russell P. Leuterio, Hyun Phil H. Persia, William Angelo GIvens, Yves Benlor Villarta, Jeremiah Camporedondo, and Kyl Cedrick D. Delostrico.

Following their championship tilt, AIM PH has given a ticket to qualify for the E-Palarong Pambansa 2023.

Leuterio, team captain of AIM PH, said as they join the tournament that they hope that their team will be given a chance to become a professional team in the country. He said he has been playing esports for 12 years and he also wants to represent the city on the national stage.

“Gusto nako makita sa among parents na kani nga dula is not a waste of time, na dula-dula ra but to prove sa ilaha na naay pulos ang atong pag dula-dula and to make them proud (I want our parents to know that this game is not a waste of time but to prove to them that we can also bring honor and make them proud),” he said in an online message with SunStar Davao on May 30, 2023.

“Di nako i-waste ang opportunity para i-represent ang Davao kay Davao Life is Here (I don’t want to waste this opportunity to represent Davao City),” Leuterio said.

In the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang selection series, Normies Standard has savagely recorded 2-0 scores from all their matches. The team has also bested 21 participating teams.

“Gusto namo mag-champion para ma-scout sa mga professional teams (We want to win the championship title to be scouted by the professional teams),” Rod Karl Deocampo, EXP laner of Normies Standard, said.

Normies Standard is composed of Ralph Alvis C. Nishimura, James Francis C. Guides, Jaen Cyrus Gecale, Eduardo D. Reponte, and Deocampo.

In the Call of Duty: Mobile selection process, the Ayasib E-Pro team wiped out the four teams who hurdle their way to the top.

“We don’t want them to expect anything from us, but we will showcase what we are capable of. I and my teammates will not just enjoy the matches, but also we will aim for victory. All of us have one goal, which is to win every match that we will be facing,” Cedrick Joel “Katol” Tulo, Ayasib E-Pro manager, said.

Eldhon Marth Palomo, Gohdo Kent Cuabo, Gianne Angelo Moreno, Lowrence Allera, Dasshelle Omas-as, Cedrick Joel Tulo, Severo Pajaron III, and their coach Christopher Juaniza will represent the city in the game.

Meanwhile, Riot games – League of Legends pc and Wildrift are won by Triple Z-Tech Esports.

John Erlit Ongco, Justin P. Casipong, James S. Piola, Ancelmo G. Abad, Mikeleenz B. Layao, Isaiah John R. Autida, Edgar S. Aguilar, Millen John C. Caducoy, Rico Jay D. Tariao, Martie Kim A. Penales, and Humphrey Kent M. Petero will represent the city in the Wildrift tournament.

“We will give our best to finish at the top and we are looking forward to bringing pride to our beloved city at E-Palarong Pambansa. Basta Bisaya Kayahon! Davao City Life is Here,” Ongco, manager of Triple Z- Tech Wildrift said.

While in the League of Legends pc, Davao City representatives are Michael John D. Varquez, Christopher Marc P. Cainglet, Jake P. Calma, Rhodgyne V. Tagalog, Alfred Bien P. Castro, Jose Kristoffer G. Aracid, Gerald N. Regorosa, and Czar Andre Caballero.

“After winning the selection series, I anticipate that numerous opportunities will open for us. This is an excellent chance to show off our gaming skills. Although we will face formidable adversaries ahead, I am confident that with dedicated practice, we can conquer them,” Varquez, the team captain said.

Meanwhile, a computer shop owner urged other businesses to support esports.

“As esports is emerging, we wanted to help esports athletes to hone their talents and capabilities for them to be able to compete in the international arena. Most importantly we believe that by doing so, we will be able to touch the lives of those who want to go big in the esports industry,” Jannette Comonsad, Triple Z Tech computer store owner, said.

“Since we are in the gaming industry, we also wanted to support esports athletes as they are the ones patronizing us. It is more of a give-and-take relationship. We also believe that, by showing our support in whatever capacity we can, the esport industry will also flourish,” she added.

Gerald Rivera, one of the E-Palarong Pambansa coordinators, said that despite budget constraints, the Davao Esports organization will do its best to support the esports athletes in the city.

“We will do our best to guide and assist these players on their journey sa ilang esports career and their personal growth,” Rivera said.

All the mobile games were conducted at La Herencia Davao.

The qualifier stage in Mindanao will start in June 2023, the group stage will be in July 2023, and the finals stage is in August 2023. (KSD)