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Smart VP Fermin unfazed about schedule clash between ESL One, UAAP finals

Ivan Saldajeno

By Ivan Saldajeno

PARAÑAQUE--Another breakthrough in Philippine sports will take place over the weekend as the nation will host the ESL One DOTA 2 tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

However, for e-sports fans who happen to like volleyball too, it could pose some dilemma as Game 1 of the UAAP volleyball finals pitting Ateneo and NU in the men's division and Ateneo and La Salle in the women's division will take place at the Smart Araneta Coliseum over the weekend as well.

For Smart Communications vice president Ariel Fermin, however, there is nothing to worry about regarding the schedule conflict between the two major sporting events.

"[ESL One] is the most important for [the gamers] right now. There shouldn't be any pressure [on whether the Mall of Asia Arena will be filled] at all," Fermin said at the pre-match press conference of the three-day event at the City of Dreams Grand Ballroom on Thursday.

The online gaming tournament will commence with the closed-door preliminaries and the winners' bracket finals on Friday at a secret venue, while the general public will finally get to see some live action on Saturday with the losers' bracket rounds.

Tickets for the entire tournament were reportedly sold out.

Up north, both of Ateneo's volleyball teams will begin their respective title defenses on Saturday against their familiar foes.

Interestingly enough, the owner of Smart, Manny Pangilinan, is the chief backer of the Blue Eagles.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno