Leading digital services providers PLDT Home and Smart Communications, Inc. named Clutch Gamers as the official Philippine representatives to the main event of the much-awaited Manila Masters, the first Philippine international premier Dota 2 tournament to be held from May 26-28 at the SM MOA Arena.
Competing with seven of the best teams around the world, Clutch Gamers is composed of professional Dota 2 players Khim “Gabbi” Villafuerte, Armel Paul Tabios, Rafael Sicat “Rappy” Palo, Marvin “Boombacs” Rushton, and Kenneth “flysolo” Coloma. They bested over 3000 other teams from all over the Philippines in the Nationwide Qualifiers to clinch the top spot.
At stake for the grand prize winner is the $250,000 prize pool and the coveted title of being the first ever Manila Masters.
“PLDT Home and Smart are one with the local gaming community in supporting our very own Clutch Gamers to show the world that Filipinos are a force to reckon with when it comes to competitive online gaming,” PLDT FVP and Head of Home Business Oscar A. Reyes, Jr. said. “A strong and powerful connection is crucial in the world of e-sports and online gaming. As partners and supporters of the local gaming community, we are committed to giving our players access to world-class internet to enable them to level up their game and help put the Philippines in the global gaming map.”
PLDT Home Fibr, the country’s most powerful broadband, is perfect for multi-player and bandwidth-intensive games like Dota 2, because it can go as fast as 1 Gbps and enables equal upload and download speeds so gamers can definitely enjoy a seamless experience.
On the other hand, Smart’s fastest LTE network allows gamers to follow updates on their favorite teams and stream anytime and anywhere, powered by data-packed GigaSurf offers. Smart also allows gamers to purchase steam wallet codes conveniently via the leading portal, GameX. As part of its support for Manila Masters, Smart users can get a chance to witness the historic event and win Manila Masters tickets by following Smart’s official accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Smart subscribers can also get in on the action at the arena and livestream the event via Smart360 for an immersive experience on the go at 360.smart.com.ph.
The rise of e-sports
Last year marked many milestones for e-sports in the Philippines. Filipino players consistently rose among the ranks and put the Philippines on the global map. The country also hosted several international gaming events last year, cementing the Philippines’ niche in the region as a force to reckon with in this fast-growing industry.
“E-sports is already as massive as traditional sports,” TV5 President and CEO Chot Reyes said. “With 32 million active gamers in the Philippines, the community is a passionate voice that cannot be ignored. We will send off our Philippine team to compete in the world stage with active support and a commitment to accompany them all the way through nationwide coverage.”
Mineski Franchise Corporation CEO Ronald Robins added, “The Philippine scene already has a strong backbone, and Philippine teams and organizations are getting stronger by the day. This time we want to strengthen Southeast Asia as a whole, despite the inevitable challenges ahead. Now, with the Masters, we are going to move forward again.”