EDITOR’S NOTE: The video game culture in the Philippines is spreading far and wide; and along with it is electronic sports (eSports). To provide our readers with the latest and the hottest news on eSports, we bring you Julius Tabios. Julius has been covering eSports for other news sites for quite some time now.
With ESL One Manila just around the corner, take a look at the best stories coming into the first ever premier LAN event in the country.
1. Team Secret’s Shift of Power!
Just recently it was announced that Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev and Saahil ‘Universe’ Arora have joined Team Secret. With the addition of one of the best mid/carry players and the best offlaner in the world to the roster, Team Secret looks to be an unstoppable team. The team will be having their first official match and LAN at ESL Manila.
The strength of Team Secret’s new lineup is not the only thing that got fans hyped, but it is also the reunion of Arteezy and fellow Canadian player Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy’ Mao also known as “ArtEEzy“. The two Canadians made a huge name for themselves when they won MLG Columbus back in 2013 under the banner of Speed Gaming. The last time the two played together was at Starladder Season 9 where EternaLEnVy stood in for Evil Geniuses back in 2014.
Can the reunion of ArtEEzy bring back the glory days of Speed Gaming back in MLG Columbus 2013 at ESL Manila?
2. Secret vs. Liquid Part 2
At the Shanghai Major, Team Secret beat Team Liquid 3-1 in the grand finals. The two teams will be meeting again in Manila. Friends and former teammates Kuro ‘KuroKy’ Salehi Takhasomi and Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov will go head-to-head along with the other invited teams for the ESL Trophy. Will Kuro be right this time?
3. Can China redeem itself?
After a lackluster performance by the Chinese teams at the Shanghai Major, China looks to redeem themselves after the Spring Shuffle.
EHOME looks to prove that China is still the beast from the east after signing former Vici Gaming players Daryl ‘iceiceice’ Koh Pei Xiang and Lu ‘Fenrir’ Chao to the roster. With Zhang ‘LaNm’ Zhicheng returning to the carry role we could possibly see the shades of EHOME past in Manila.
Joining EHOME is Wings Gaming, a team that surprised many for winning the Chinese qualifiers by sweeping Vici Gaming Reborn 3-0. Wings Gaming looks to make an impression on their ESL debut in Manila. Will we see an upset from this team?
4. Can Fnatic win its first LAN?
Fnatic looks to be in top form ever since finishing 5th-6th in the Shanghai Major even in the absence of its captain Chai ‘Mushi’ Yee Fung with a 45-4 record. Can Fnatic keep their momentum coming into ESL?
Mushi will be attending ESL One Manila but it still uncertain whether he will be there as a player or the team’s coach. Regardless on who is playing, Fnatic looks to be in top shape given their past performances.Can the Malaysian squad finally win their first major LAN?
5. The Hometown Heroes
The Philippine representative Mineski will be participating in ESL One Manila. Participating in a LAN on their home turf with their fellow countrymen in attendance and having it broadcasted on live television sure adds pressure to the Philippine National team..Can the “E-Gilas” rise up to the challenge or will we be hearing Rivermaya’s Olats at the Mall of Asia Arena?
Fellow Filipino Djardel ‘Dj’ Mampusti of Fnatic will also be competing in ESL Manila. As the only Filipino in his team, he looks to make his country proud by showing why people call him as one of the best players coming out of SEA.
6. Dendi in Manila?
Team Empire will still be competing in ESL Manila despite having their roster being completely changed. With that change people suspected the 2nd placer of the European Qualifier Natus Vincere but unfortunately ESL decided to let Empire play.
However, it is said that ESL is inviting Na’Vi midlaner Danil ‘Dendi’ Ishutin to be a part of ESL One Manila.
The Mall of Asia Arena will surely erupt if the famous mid player accepts the invitation to Manila.
by Julius Tabios