Manila Masters: What to watch out for

Storylines, rivalries, on-fire teams, and many more. These make Dota 2 so much exciting, and these will definitely make the Manila Masters something to look forward to. As we draw nearer to one of the biggest premiere Dota 2 tournaments to conducted here in the Philippines, here are some things that you can watch out for:

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Secret going up against NP

Of course, the bloodbath fired up with a lot of controversy, the possibility of Team Secret facing up Team NP is something watch worthy. Whether it’s Clement “Puppey” Ivanov vs Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao, or the newly recruited Johan “pieliedie” Åström going up against his long-time team, this team match-up will be a thrill here in Manila.

Armel vs the Suma1L

Only 18 years old right now, Armel Paul “Armel” Tabios worked his way this year to become Southeast Asia’s top-notch mid player, and might just be the best mid laner for the Philippines. Of course, the child wonder from Evil Geniuses Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan is also going to the Philippines later this May, and their duel can really be an action-packed match-up. It will be interesting to see two young bloods just brawl with each other in the middle lane, especially in the recent Patch 7.06 which gives emphasis to laning and out-denying your opponent.

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OG’s return to Manila

OG‘s second championship was last year’s Manila Major — almost exactly a year ago. They say that if you become champions in Manila, you’ll always win the heart of the Filipinos. OG will be returning to Manila as champions of one of the biggest international event, hot off their back-to-back streak. The fans can’t wait, as OG might even take this tournament for their own, again.

Patch 7.06

Patch 7.06 brought about a huge amount of changes, including gameplay tweaks that can really change the dynamic of the game itself. Who will be the top contested heroes? Will the games be longer or will it be shorter? Will patch 7.06 separate the worth offlaners to the weaker ones? What the meta will dictate is still vague as of this moment, and Manila Masters can definitely bring it to light.

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Crowd Intensity

Manila is known for the crowd. Manila is known for the noise. Manila is known as the most passionate Dota 2 fans around the world, and nothing would change that heading into May. Hell, the fans were too loud to a point that teams could even hear through their soundproof booths while playing. Expect teams feeling as if they are true rockstars, as the Mall of Asia Arena will surely resound with cheers and screams of passion for the game.

Clutch Gamers

Of course, the Philippine’s finest is really something to watch out for. This youngsters lead by the veteran Kenneth “Flysolo” Coloma braved the banks of Malaysia, flying miles away from their families for the boot camp provided by the Malaysian founder of Clutch Gamers. They are returning to Manila to start their world tour: in just a month, Clutch Gamers defeated four different SEA powerhouses to earn a trip to Manila (Masters), Moscow (EPICENTER), Los Angeles (The Summit 7), and Shanghai (MDL). After their dominance this month, it’s no question that they are indeed the new kings of Southeast Asia. Will Clutch Gamers falter in Manila, or will they stay true to their name? Watch out come May 26, as they go up against the world for the first time since they were formed as a team.

Follow this writer through @caisamyvez