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Flame Break: Looking Forward

10:57 AM October 21, 2014

After a week that has been rocked by scandals and controversies, one might say that it is hard to come back from the pit from which the South East Asian (SEA) Dota scene has fallen. Of course, in some cases, this is quite true, as the match-fixing incidents that involved players from Philippines’ MSI-EvoGT and Mineski-Dota as well as from Malaysia’s Arrow Gaming proved to be devastating on their part. After all, these teams have been staples of the SEA Dota scene, and these things have happened just as big tournaments have started to trickle in.

However, as much as these things seem depressing, there is no reason for the numerous people who are trying very hard to uplift the Philippine eSports as well as the South East Asian scene to stop. Yes, it will take a lot of hard work and it will take a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but the results will be worth the sacrifice in the end.

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For instance, just two days ago, Mineski-Dota, who played with two stand-ins, has actually won second place in the recently concluded Thailand Dota 2 Championship, which hosted teams such as First Departure, Mith-Trust and Team Malaysia among others. This shows that although they may have been shocked and shaken by the events that have transpired in the past few days, they didn’t wavered and they fought with whatever they had in order to gain a place at the podium for the Philippines.

This coming Thursday, Oct. 23, we will have a chance to witness a Filipino team who will represent the South East Asian region for the first time ever in Starladder Season X’s LAN finals. It is significant not just because this is the second time that a Filipino team has won through a qualifier for a major Dota 2 LAN tournament this year (For everyone’s information, the first team who did the feat was actually Rave; they beat MVP.Hot6 in the SEA qualifiers of the first edition of I-league and they went on to beat Belarus’ Power Rangers in order to get a joint 3rd/4th place), but also because it is the first time that a Pinoy team will play again on the big stage, representing the SEA region with their unique brand of gameplay against the best that the West has to offer.

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In addition, there will be a large activity this coming Saturday, Oct. 26, that will boost Philippine eSports even further: The much-long awaited Philippine Gaming Festival has a lot to offer, from the Electronic Sports League Philippine Dota 2 finals where eight teams will fight for supremacy, gold and glory, to numerous other titles such as Tekken and NBA 2k14. This event will remind our local community that we are strong and united as one.

Furthermore, now that we have mentioned Rave, let us not forget that they have just beaten MVP.Phoenix, arguably one of the strongest teams in the Korean Dota scene, in a neck-breaking best-of-5 finals to determine who will represent the Asia-Pacific region in the MSI Beat It! LAN tournament, which will be held this coming Nov. 1-2 in Taiwan, and which has a current prize pool of 50,000 US dollars. They will have to fight against teams like Russia’s Empire, China’s CDEC and North America’s Na’Vi.US, which means that Rave will have another chance to add a LAN placing to their belts! Of course, this means that we will have another team and another event to watch out and cheer for!

And finally, yes, we will have the Mineski Pro Gaming League (MPGL) SEA Grand Finals this Nov. 15-16, 2014, where teams from all over South East Asia will fight in one of the largest LAN events that the region can offer. Boasting a total prize pool of 22,000 US dollars, this event will surely help a lot to strengthen the South East Asian scene, as well as to promote the “responsible gaming” culture among the local player base.

These upcoming events show that despite the fact that we may have just experienced one of the saddest moments in SEA Dota 2 history, there is always a way to come back to the top… faster, higher, and stronger. As Mr. Irymarc “Tryke” Gutierrez said on his Facebook account:

“It takes more than two key sellers to bring the whole South East Asian scene down.”

Let me end this column with one of my most favorite quotes, from Shannon Alder:

“All great beginnings start in the dark, when the moon greets you to a new day at midnight.

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I hope that you’ll have a good week ahead of you!

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