All the finalists for the Road to The Nationals grand finals have been decided. Dozens of teams and players showed off their skills, talent, and passion for a chance to represent not only themselves but also their regions during the tournament’s grand finals at the 2018 Esports and Gaming Summit from October 26 to 28, 2018. The finalists will not only fight for the lion’s share of their respective tournament’s prize pool but also for a chance to be drafted in next year’s The Nationals league.
The DOTA2 league had six qualifier legs spread across several locations across the country to give teams from the nation’s different regions a chance to qualify for the Road To The Nationals. The six legs were held in Manila, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Cavite.
The first qualifier leg, held at TNC Morayta in Manila on August 4 saw two teams qualify for a spot at the Road to The Nationals grand finals. Among the 16 teams that signed up, Manila-based teams Quid Pro Quo and Sterling Global Dragons would emerge victorious from their respective brackets and secure their spots in the Road to The Nationals grand finals.
However, Sterling Global Dragons would later on have to forfeit their finalist spot as they ended up changing their roster after qualifying, which is against tournament rules. Their spot was then taken by So Lucky by default as the other would-be replacements were either unavailable or had already qualified through the other legs.
The Cebu qualifier leg, held at Mineski Portal Cebu on August 11, saw a similar ending as the eventual winner, Manila-based Polar Ace, would eventually forfeit their spot as the entire roster was signed by TaskUs Titans. While the leg’s runner up, Voyager, had already qualified through the Bacolod qualifier. This left the third placers Station 751 and GT Warhawks to battle it out for the finalist spot, with the former emerging victorious.
The following Cagayan de Oro leg, the halfway point of the league’s qualifiers, held on August 25 at the iPlay Cybersquare Cafe, saw Davao’s Pride travel all the way to Cagayan de Oro to compete for a shot at the grand finals. Their efforts weren’t in vain though as the team was able to dominate the leg and even sweep their finals opponent Goliath Gaming.
The next two legs, Bacolod and Iloilo, saw two teams from previous qualifiers once again try their hand to secure a spot in the league’s grand finals. The Bacolod leg was held on September 22 at TNC Bacolod while the Iloilo leg was held the week after at the Localhost Cafe. Voyager, who lost to Polar Ace in the Cebu qualifiers, was able to finally achieve victory through the Bacolod grand finals and qualify for the grand finals while TaskUs Titans, formerly known as Polar Ace, was able to re-qualify through the Iloilo qualifiers.
The last qualifier leg of the tournament was held at UGZ Ultimate Gaming Zone in Cavite on October 13, where two teams would advance to the grand finals. This was where Sterling Global Dragons would come back, with their new roster, and re-qualify for the grand finals alongside Manila-based team ArkAngel. The two teams closed out the eight competitors that will battle it out in the Road to the Nationals grand finals for the lion’s share of the USD 1.2 Million prize pool.
Meanwhile, the Tekken leg of the Road to The Nationals wasted little time heating up with its first qualifier held at the First 5 Lounge in Cebu on September 22. In the inaugural leg, hometown hero and Cebuano-favorite Francis Steven “UFTC Gogoy” Valencia Cabahug secured a dominant victory over Xavier Giovanni “Gio” Galon with his exceptional Xiaoyu play. Cabahug was even able to pull off back-to-back perfect rounds at one point securing his win at the first-ever Road to The Nationals Tekken 7 qualifiers.
The next Tekken 7 qualifier, held in Davao on September 29 at Game Patch, saw Luzon player Janjuan Eduard “ArkAngel|Jaynine” Yasay bring his Shaheen and Kazumi to the Jewel of the South. While knocked down to the Losers Bracket after a loss to John Groover “G|Clef” Sy in the Winners Semifinals, and with Sy’s twice-to-beat advantage, Yasay was able to weather the storm and ultimately clinch the win to qualify for the Road to The Nationals grand finals.
The Tekken 7 qualifiers would continue the very next day, on September 30, with the league’s third qualifier at Captain Poys Game House in Cagayan de Oro where an interesting story awaited. Raymund Jay “LimitBreak” Sarte introduced Neil Kenneth Uy “Wong” Tan to Tekken many years ago, and the two faced each other at the finals. Sarte fought all the way from Loser’s Bracket to face Tan and ultimately win the qualifier.
With the Visayas and Mindanao representatives all accounted for, the Road to The Nationals qualifiers would move to Luzon for the tournament’s final three stages. The first Makati leg on October 6 at PlayBook Video Game Lounge saw two of the best Tekken players in the country, Alexandre “AK” Lavarez and Andreij “Doujin” Albar secure their spots in the grand finals.
The penultimate leg of the Road to the Nationals Tekken 7 qualifiers was held on October 13 at Secret Base Gaming Lounge in Marikina. Julian “Jules” Lozano had to scratch and claw all the way back from Loser’s Bracket to face Secret Base’s own Daniel “Machine Head” Eking in his home turf with a twice-to-beat advantage. Jules proved to be up to the task as he dominated Eking with two 3-0 sweeps to earn his grand finals spot.
The final leg of the Road to the Nationals as once again held at the PlayBook Video Game Lounge in Makati where the final two spots in the grand finals were awarded to Jeff “Coffee Prinz” Gonzales and Ryan Gentiles “Tomahawk” Cocharo.
The Final Battle
The eight competitors in each of the two leagues will face off at the Road to The Nationals grand finals at the 2018 Esports and Gaming Summit which will be held on October 26 to 28, 2018, at the SMX Convention Center of the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.
The DOTA2 grand finals will feature a prize pool of PHP 1.2 Million with the 5th-8th place teams taking home PHP 48,000, PHP 84,000 for the 3rd-4th placers, PHP 240,000 for the 2nd placers, and PHP 600,000 for the champions.
On the other hand, a prize pool of PHP 300,000 is set for the Tekken 7 grand finals. The 5th-8th placers will take home PHP 12,000 each, the 3rd-4th placers go home with PHP 21,000 each, the runner up will be awarded PHP 60,000, and the champion will take home PHP 150,000.
Coach Chot Reyes, President and CEO of TV5, said in a statement: “The past three months have truly shown the potential of esports in the Philippines and the immense amount of talent our country possesses. We look forward to seeing the finalists compete at the Road to The Nationals grand finals and bring esports in the Philippines to the next level. And as a testament to our commitment to Philippine esports, the Finals of the Road to The Nationals will be aired live on Aksyon TV on October 27 and 28 – making it the first local esports tournament to be broadcast live on national television.”
“We astonished by the excellent level of play that Filipino esports athletes have shown all throughout the Road to The Nationals qualifiers,” said Andrew Santos, FVP-Consumer Marketing Head for PLDT and Smart. “We are fully committed to supporting our esports athletes by providing them with opportunities from the grassroots level, all the way up to creating the first franchise-based professional league in the Philippines. PLDT and Smart are not only building esports teams for The Nationals – we are also ensuring that gamers are equipped with the best gaming experience through our PLDT Home FIBR and Smart LTE networks.”
“We at ESNAP want to help elevate the quality of esports in the country, and we believe that tournaments like the Road to The Nationals help give our gamers a chance for their passion for esports to truly take center stage. With dedication and hard work, these finalists are all winners in their own right, and a lot of eyes will be on them and their esports journey,” Joebert Yu, Esports National Association of the Philippines Chairman, added.
About the Road to The Nationals
Powered by PLDT and Smart Communications, the Road to The Nationals is the place for the best of the best to showcase their talent and skill in a high-stakes competitive environment. The tournament series is open to all, and aims to take only the best teams and players in several regions across the Philippines to the big stage for the finals at the Esports and Gaming Summit 2018.
For more details about The Road to The Nationals and The Nationals, hitch a Town Portal scroll over to http://thenationalsph.com(http://thenationalsph.com/).