National e-gamers confident of winning

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    THE skippers of the PH DOTA 2 and Mobile Legends squads yesterday expressed confidence they will bring home the bacon when electronic games make their debut in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in December.

    “Our team has been together for six months and we will enjoy the hometown edge, so yes, we’re confident of winning,” Marvin Salvador Rushton said after the DOTA 2 squad swept Thailand (30-16) and Malaysia (30-15) in the SEA Games test event at The Arena in San Juan.

    Indonesia, a force to reckon with in Mobile Legends, also came over for the test competition.

    Making up the local DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) 2 team are Rushton, Jun Kanehara, Mc Nicholson Villanueva, Bryle Jacob Alvizo and John Anthony Vargas.

    “For a while, I thought that Indonesia might have the upper hand after they dominated an international event we held here last March,” South Korean Brian Lin, the Mobile Legends coach, said. “But we have closed the gap and given that we will be playing on home ground, I believe that we have a strong chance of clinching gold.”

    Despite the setback to the hosts, Malaysian DOTA 2 squad team captain Helmy Ibrahim was optimistic they would give the Filipinos a run for their money.

    “While your DOTA team has been together for a long time, we hope to challenge them for the gold; we aim to win and bring medals back home,” Ibrahim said.

    Among Malaysia’s prominent players is Khoo Chong Xin, 26, who goes by the handle “Ohaiyo” and has earned close to $600,000 in playing the pc-based multiple player online game since turning pro in 2012.

    Dutson, whose father is British but was raised in the country, said they have one overseas competition lined up as their final tune-up for the SEA Games.

    “We will be competing in the MDL Chengdu Major in Chengdu, China next week,” Dutson said of the international tournament set Nov. 16 to 24 in the Sichuan provincial capital that offers a whopping pot of $1 million.

    Lin, popularly referred to as coach “Panda,” said his Mobile Legends squad preferred to stay at home and build better team chemistry.

    “We work better as a team now and hope we can blend better as we approach the SEA Games,” he said.

    Aside from DOTA 2 and Mobile Legends, the other e-games to be disputed in the games are Arena of Valor, Tekken, Starcraft 2 and Heartstone.