All eyes were on the Philippines when its Mobile Legends team won the country’s first gold medal in eSports in the Southeast Asian Games 2019. Sibol, the moniker of the Philippine Mobile Legends team, beat Indonesia in the best-of-five battle. Two more golds were then bagged by the Philippine teams in the battle for DoTA 2 and StarCraft II.
These victories garnered the Filipino eSports community a lot of attention, making more people aware of the potential of eSports success even after the SEA Games.
Although some people still make derisive remarks to downplay eSports as a mere past-time, even associating it with mindless delinquency that distracts from studies and ‘real’ sports, the passionate players of the Filipino eSports community continue to garner wins that prove these skeptics otherwise.
A stepping stone to the pro scene
Thanks to the ceaseless effort of sports advocates, multiplayer electronic sports are now getting more recognition in the country. Dedicated players, eSports organizations, brands, and institutions are spearheading the advocacy to bring eSports into the mainstream.
In continuous support of Filipino talent in various sports, ARC is now extending its advocacy to the Mobile Legends community, headlined by its brand Juicy Lemon.
In partnership with ULVL Gaming founded by Roadfill a.k.a. Moymoy Palaboy, Juicy Legends TOURnament is a nationwide tour for a year-round competition of p opular e-game Mobile Legends. Tournaments like this give young eSports athletes the opportunity to be part of the growing community that is inclusive for both amateurs and professional athletes, linked together with the same passion. Sibol, the Philippine representative for eSports in SEA Games 2019, also grew their athletic skills over time, playing in small tournaments to competing regionally, then making it to the international stage carrying the country’s name.
Many professional teams and players, in fact, were first exposed to local tournaments before competing worldwide. ARC’s Juicy Legends take pride in some of them.
Sunsparks was the champion in the first and second waves of Juicy Legends TOURnament Pro Division, and the team became one of the Mobile Legends M1 World Championship qualifiers. One of the Sunsparks players is Allen “Greed” Baloy, who played for Dreamhigh Gaming, the champion team of the Juicy Legends TOURnament Amateur Division’s first wave.
Kent Ervan “Doc Ranveigh” Unigo is also one of the amateur players who made Juicy Legends their stepping stone into the pro scene. From being one of the players of K10 Gaming, 2nd Placer of the Juicy Legends TOURnament Amateur Division’s second wave, Unigo didn’t stop at being an FEU Mobile Legends Athlete and Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) MVP for Mobile Legends -- he even flew overseas for the PVP Championship in Singapore.
Players like Unigo have expressed their gratitude towards tournaments like Juicy Legends that support the eSports community in the Philippines, helping them step into the international scene with skills that they truly excel in. “Based on our experience, maraming nagpipigil sa ‘min na maglaro kasi nakakasira daw sa pag-aaral. So kami po, sumasali kami sa mga malalaking tournaments para ipakita sa kanila na mali sila — na may future po talaga sa eSports,” (Based on our experience, many people discourage us from playing, thinking that it will only distract us from our studies. So we join these big, international tournaments to prove them wrong — that there really is a future in eSports).
The future of eSports
As ARC Refreshment Corp. leads other brands in advocating for eSports inclusivity, more support is seen to flow in for the Mobile Legends community and many more eSports enthusiasts.
This year, ARC will host a much bigger tournament for Juicy Legends, called “The Grand Tournament.” The year-long tournament will pit three different brackets (Q1, Q2, Q3) against each other for Mobile Legends victory, to battle it out in December 2020 for the championship round.
From amateur gamers to professional eSports competitors, support and recognition remain to be crucial cornerstones in honing the potential of each Filipino eSports athlete. Organizations like ARC will continue to pledge its support to these young aspirants through its sports advocacy, by letting them flaunt their skills through platforms like Juicy Legends. And in the true ARC spirit of uplifting the Filipino people, the company envisions that every mobile gamer in the Filipino eSports community achieve their dream to play in the SEA Games, the Olympics, and other prestigious global arenas.
Juicy Lemon is the refreshing, low-calorie, lemon-flavored soft drink of ARC RefreshmentsCorp., the manufacturer of other well-loved beverages namely RC Cola, Seetrus, Fruit Soda
Orange, Arcy’s Rootbeer and Rite ‘N Lite.