DPC sked leads to lack of superstars in Sibol DOTA 2

The road to TI 10 may have affected the selection process for Sibol in DOTA 2.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Many Filipino DOTA 2 fans wondered on Monday why the national team for the inaugural Southeast Asian Games DOTA 2 tournament does not have huge names.

The announcement of Sibol's DOTA 2 team drew mixed reactions from casual gamers to even the keenest of the observers as, save perhaps for veteran offlaner Jun Kanehara, the entire squad consists of relative unknowns.

[Related Story: No local stars in Sibol's DOTA 2 team for SEAG]

But as it turned out, the schedule conflict was a factor for the Philippine Southeast Asian Games eSports Union's decision to have the team built around the entire Team Adroit and two others from Cignal Ultra.

Recently, Valve released the schedule of its upcoming DOTA Pro Circuit season, and it booked Dec. 1-6 for the regional qualifiers of the second major.

Assuming the Southeast Asian qualifiers of the major will fall at the tail end of the qualifier window, it will coincide with the first two days of the SEA Games eSports event.

The Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee was the first to set the Dec. 5-10 schedule for the SEA Games eSports competitions--Nov. 22-Dec. 11 overall including the events that will start before the Nov. 30 formal opening.

Unless the likes of TNC Predator, featuring Armel Tabios, Kim Villafuerte, and Tims Randrup, and EG, which on Monday announced that it acquired Abed Yusop, get direct invites to the major, they will undergo through the regional qualifiers, giving the said Filipino DOTA 2 stars less or even no time to think about the SEA Games, leading to the non-selection.

Also, even if the PSEU and the PHISGOC agree to move the eSports event as a pre-opening sport, it will either coincide with the final day of the first scheduled major or happen a couple of days after the major, also giving them less time to adjust.

The first major of the 2019-20 DPC season will happen from Nov. 16-24, and the SEA Games will actually start on Nov. 22 with Day 1 of the polo competition.

On the other hand, while bringing in Team Adroit, which made an impressive run in the TI9 SEA Qualifiers, to Sibol was understandable, acquiring Erice Guerra and Van Manalaysay of Cignal Ultra was also subject to discussions as Nico Barcelon and Michael Ross, who recently entered free agency, are available.

However, Ross, in a tweet on Sunday, announced that he will take a break from action.

Barcelon, on the other hand, has yet to find a club as of posting, but he is expected to be acquired in time for the major qualifiers from Oct. 5-10.

One thing is for sure, though: Sibol remains a favorite to win it all.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno