MANILA - After a grueling climb from the lower bracket playoffs, the Philippines’ Mobile Legends: Bang Bang team on Sunday secured the first gold medal for esports in the Southeast Asian Games after beating Indonesia in a 3-2 nail-biter.
The ML:BB team, bannered by Kenneth Jiane "Kenji" Villa, Karl Gabriel "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno, Carlito "Ribo" Ribo, Jeniel "Haze" Bata-anon, Angelo Kyle "Pheww" Arcangel, Allan Sancio "Lusty" Castromayor, and Jason Rafael "Jay" Torculas, are the first medallists for Sibol, the moniker of the Philippine esports team.
Even as it was struggling early into the game, a split push by Sibol’s fighter hero Chou 12 minutes in, followed by a wipe-out of Indonesia’s heroes paved the way for the Philippines to get the first win.
A bad draft pick plagued Sibol in Game 2, with Indonesia taking advantage to level.
The Philippines looked in control during Game 3, but Indonesia had other plans and inched closer to the gold medal. Sibol eventually forced a decider, thanks to another split-push.
The Philippines completed its Cinderella run with a dominant showing in Game 5, earning the first gold for the Philippines in esports.
The Philippines beat an Indonesian squad parading mostly players coming from the M1 World Championship - the inaugural ML:BB worldwide contest organized by game developers Moonton.
Sibol’s ML:BB team came from the lower bracket after finishing second in the Group B stages next to Indonesia but eventually secured the first gold for the Philippines in esports.
It had also drawn against Indonesia when they faced each other in the group category.
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