Gamers, rise up! Filipinos qualify for Esports World Cup

by AC Recio
Gamers, rise up! Filipinos qualify for Esports World Cup
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From niche technological marvels to fun novelties that keep children entertained, video games have come a long way in the pop cultural canon. Nowadays, you can’t say video games without thinking about triple-A prestige titles, unique and creative independent games, popular streamers and online personalities, and of course, a highly competitive esports industry.

With the rising popularity of video games, the 2024 Esports World Cup (EWC) is set to be one of the largest international gaming competitions in the world. This year marks the first edition of the competition, which will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and includes 22 events in 21 different video game titles. It is also set to be a record-breaking event with the largest combined prize pool in esports history at over USD 60 million.

At the forefront of Filipino esports are professional gamers who are performing at the highest levels, with five representatives so far raising our flag as representatives of the country in the first-ever EWC.

The first representative to secure a slot was Smart Omega Empress, who won first place at the SILAB: Road to MWI tournament last May. As one of the country’s top Mobile Legends Bang Bang (MLBB) teams, Smart Omega Empress was seeded to the semifinals of the tournament. With over 250 participants, the tournament finals came down to Smart Omega Empress and TNCZ4, with the former securing the win and marking their third consecutive qualification to the MLBB Women’s Invitational, which will be part of EWC this year.

The next representatives are Team Liquid Echo and Falcons AP Bren, who fought head-to-head at the finals of the Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL) Philippines Season 13. The two teams were also the top two seeds of the tournament, and with four rounds that resulted in a 4-0, Team Liquid Echo won the championship while Falcons AP Bren placed second. With their outstanding performances in the professional league, both teams have nabbed a spot as representatives at the Mobile Legends Mid-Season Cup (MSC) in EWC.

The latest team to qualify for the event is Blacklist Rivalry, who fought at the Riyadh Masters Southeast Asia Closed qualifiers for Dota2. After losing their first match, the team spent its time grinding in the losers’ bracket, defeating teams left and right for a four-match winning streak and earning a spot at the upcoming Dota 2 event for EWC.

And last, but definitely not least, is Alexandre “AK” Laverez, who is fresh from his amazing undefeated streak at the Combo Breaker 2024 Tekken 8 event where he defeated “Arslan Ash” Siddique, arguably one of the greatest Tekken players of all time. AK made the top 8 at DreamHack Dallas, finishing 5th to 6th place and securing his ticket to Riyadh.

The Esports World Cup is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated gaming events of the year, and with five representatives from the Philippines, we might just crown Filipino world champions. Let’s show our support to our world-class gaming talent!

What event are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming Esports World Cup? Tell us in the comment section! 

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