SEAG esports organizer reveals reason behind shock TNC Predator exclusion from Sibol

SEAG esports organizer reveals reason behind shock TNC Predator exclusion from Sibol

Despite the fan clamor, Adroit represented the Philippines in the SEA Games DOTA 2 event. Ivan Saldajeno (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--When the national team for the inaugural Southeast Asian Games esports tournament was being formed, there was a clamor among Filipino esports fans to have at least the Filipino core of TNC Predator to be part of the Nationals' DOTA 2 squad.

However, it was Adroit, which was then a rising force in the local scene, that got the nod to play in the DOTA 2 event at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

Joebert Yu, the competition manager for the SEA Games esports event, finally shed light on the surprise TNC Predator exclusion on Thursday, 10 months after the tournament took place.

"One of the requirements if you want to represent the country is that you have to be a Philippine citizen and a Philippine passport holder. At that time, they had two or three foreigners on their lineup," Yu said during the online Usapang Sports forum of the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports

Entering The International 9, TNC Predator fielded in an all-Filipino lineup with Nico Barcelon named as captain and Carlo Palad also powering the squad just like in the club's breakthrough stint in TI6.

Looking to become more competitive after an early exit from TI9, TNC Predator signed foreign players to beef up the Filipino core of Kim Villafuerte, Armel Tabios, and Tim Randrup.

TNC Predator brought in Korean Park Tae-Won and Asian-Australian Damien Chok to replace Barcelon and Palad, but the acquisitions came just as the national team, known as Sibol, began building up for the SEA Games.

Yu clarified that the Philippine Esports Organization was actually open to letting Villafuerte, Tabios, and Randrup into Sibol, but TNC Predator's hectic schedule came in the way.

"If you want to be part of the Philippine delegate, you need to have a commitment of training. It just so happens that there are training times na hindi pupwede sila kasi they're competing in those private tournaments," Yu continued.

He clarified that he also asked the other Filipino teams about the training timeline.

Eventually, PESO got the commitment of Adroit and Cignal Ultra.

"They are full-fledged Philippine teams, they're based here in the Philippines, and they committed to the time," Yu further said.

On why Sibol coach Paulo Bago ultimately chose Adroit to make up the main DOTA 2 squad, Yu reasoned, "Ayaw niyang masira yung blend."

Indeed, Adroit's chemistry worked wonders as the squad ruled the SEA Games DOTA 2 event.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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