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Amidst Banning Concerns against Video Games, A Filipino Team Prepares to Do Battle in a $2.1 Million Tournament This Weekend

03:19 PM January 26, 2015

Despite local governments’ banning popular video game and premier eSports title Defense of the Ancients (DotA) and Dota 2, the Philippines will still be represented in the upcoming Dota 2 Asia Championships (DAC) that will be held on Jan. 28 to February 9 in Shanghai, China.

Rave-Dota, an all-Filipino Dota 2 team based in South Korea, will be competing against some of the best Dota 2 teams around the globe for a shot at the total prize pool worth $2.1 Million.

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The team consists of Filipino professional Dota 2 players  Jio “Jeyo” Madayag, Ryo “Ryoyr” Hasegawa, Djardel “Chrissy” Mampusti, Mark “Cast” Pillar and Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross. The team migrated to Korea to train professionally under the watchful eyes of their manager and team owner, Pyung Kwon, earning them the moniker of “Overseas Filipino Gamers”.

According to sources close to the team, Rave has been consistently training for at least 10 hours a day, scrimmaging and practicing against some of the best teams in South Korea and China to prepare for the main event. The team is currently en route to China as of this writing.

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Rave-Dota celebrating as the Grand Champion of MPGL 6 held at SM City North EDSA, Skydome

Last November 2014, Rave won the Mineski Pro Gaming League (MPGL) Southeast Asian (SEA) Grand Finals at the Skydome in SM City North Edsa. The event pitted teams from around the SEA region and is the largest tournament in the Philippines to date with a total prize pool of over P1 million. Rave won the lion’s share after winning an all-Filipino finals, with a total of P789,687.

Against the odds

The DAC tournament will be feature some of the best and  most well-known teams in the Dota 2 community.

Out of the 14 invited teams, five have already competed in The International (TI) — Dota 2’s largest tournament. In 2014, TI 4 entered record books as the largest tournament in the world in terms of prize pool for a video game with $10.9 million in total purse.

Out of the five teams that have been to TI, two of them have already won.

Some of the western powerhouses will be also present such as the recent champions of Dota Pit League Season 2, Team Secret and the defending champions of Star Ladder Star Series Season 10, Evil Geniuses.

Wildcard matches will be on Jan. 28 wherein two teams will join the 14 qualified teams. The 16 teams will then battle for the 12 slots in the LAN finals over five days. The main event will be on Feb. 5 to 9 wherein the 12 teams will be fighting for their share in DAC’s $2.1m prize pool.

In boiling water

With DotA and other similar games now banned in Barangay Salawag, Dasmarinas, Cavite, the role of video games among the youth has become a hot-button topic on social media. According to the Barangay ordinance, the local government of Salawag decided to ban video games such as DotA and CrossFire because it “had already become a tool for gambling”.

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Salawag village chief Enrico Paredes said that the ordinance was passed after two teenagers were reportedly involved in a stabbing that supposedly stemmed from a game of DotA.

On the Inquirer.net Facebook page, Netizens broke into debate on the role of video games on hooliganism, gambling and truancy among the youth.

Other netizens were in support of the ban on video games, saying that games have directly contributed to poor performance in school and degrading moral character due to its violent and addicting nature.

User Herbert Gatchalian shared his experience in the matter by saying that, “Computer gaming makes kids get stuck to that world and not exist in reality like looking for a real job. I know a lot of gamers. I was one before and I’m thankful I got rid of that habit. I almost failed high school because of that.”

Still other netizens have asserted that a more effective solution to the problem of truancy and addiction to video games in the country is through proper regulation of video games and eSports at large instead of outright bans.

User Alessandro Angel de Egurrola wrote, “Banning the game is not the solution, instead of banning DoTA, why not regulate it?”

“Internet cafes should not allow students to enter the establishment during school hours. For minors, they should not be allowed to game past 10PM or midnight. I understand and empathize with the parents who had kids act violently because of DoTA, but we cannot blame anyone else but ourselves,” he added.

Facebook user Adam Philip Knight said, “Their violent behavior is more of a reflection of a poor upbringing at home and lack of education. There’s more violent content on your television than dota has to offer.”

Though the gaming community is in turmoil back home, sources close to Rave-dota have said that the team is prepared and ready to represent the Philippines to the best of their abilities in China.

Khatie Santos, Rave’s social media manager, told eSports Inquirer that the team is determined to win and bring pride to the country despite the negative outlook on their profession and game of choice.

The team is not affected but they are slightly disappointed. Siyempre po they are trying to uplift the eSports industry for the Philippines. It saddens them that our own country cannot support gamers.”– with a report from John Paolo “Brightroar” Bago

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