The esports community here in the Philippines is a big and growing one, but most people outside of that crowd are not familiar with how big and prominent it really is. Very early on, Filipino esports athletes have been making a name for themselves and bringing home gold from various international stages.
Let’s take a look at some of our Pinoy esports superstars that shine a light on the Philippines and cement its position in the international esports scene.
DJ, Dota 2
Djardel Jicko “DJ” Mampusti is currently the highest-paid Filipino esports athlete and arguably the best Filipino Dota 2 player out there. Raking in a total of over US$798,597 (around Php 38.4 million) from prize money alone, DJ has been winning Dota 2 tournaments since 2013, and he has not stopped since.
Scouted by different international teams, DJ has played with teams from South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Currently, he is captaining the European team Fnatic who recently won gold at the World E-Sports Legendary League and at the DOTA Summit 12.
Team Sibol, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
The Philippine team won big at the esports event of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which was the first time ever that esports was included as a medal event. The country’s delegates, called Team Sibol, won the first-ever gold medal for esports at the SEA Games when they won the championship for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang against Indonesia.
As the games went on, Team Sibol also racked in two more gold medals for Dota 2 and Starcraft II, as well as a silver and bronze medal for Tekken 7, to dominate the esports event at the SEA Games.
Because this marks the very first time that esports was recognized as a medal event, this momentous win for Team Sibol at the 2019 SEA Games shone a well-deserved spotlight on the country’s emerging esports talents.
TNC Predator, Dota 2
TNC Predator is perhaps the premiere Filipino Dota team who, along with Mineski, stamped the Philippines’ reputation in the international gaming community. TNC Predator is currently home to some of the biggest Dota elites like Timothy “Tims” Randrup, Khim “Gabbi” Villafuerte, and Armel “Armel” Tabios, just to name a few.
With such a loaded team, TNC Predator has been winning Dota championships left and right, nabbing first place at the MDL Chengdu Major and the recently concluded ESL One Thailand 2020: Asia. They also have gold medals from two World Electronic Sports Games.
Collectively, TNC Predator has already amassed an estimate of over US$4,505,944 (around Php 216.7 million) from championship winnings alone, turning their players into millionaires.
AK, Tekken 7
The Philippines’ very own Tekken prodigy, Alexandre “AK” Laverez is no stranger to being in an international spotlight. AK grabbed everybody’s attention in 2013 when he landed a third-place finish in the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Global Championship at the young age of 13, competing against veteran players all over the world.
Other notable wins include winning 2nd at the WEGL Super Fight Invitational and 2nd at EVO Japan 2019. AK also bagged the silver medal for Tekken 7 at the 2019 SEA Games, with fellow Filipino Andreij “PBE Doujin” Albar finishing bronze.
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Xmithie, League of Legends
Jake “Xmithie” Puchero is undeniably the best Filipino-American League of Legends player. While the last Filipino team to grace the League of Legends World Championship was way back in 2013, Xmithie has already attended every World Championship of the past five years.
Xmithie is recognized as one of the best Junglers in North America, and he has been a valuable player with big names like Counter Logic Gaming (CLG), Team Liquid, and currently Immortals. Xmithie snatched the gold at the Championship Series Summer 2019 with Team Liquid, and also placed 9th-12th at the 2019 World Championship.
When it comes to Hearthstone, Euneil “Staz” Javinas is the Filipino Grandmaster to beat. Staz started gaining popularity in early 2016 when he qualified to represent the Southeast Asian region at the Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) Winter Championship 2016 in the United States.
Later that year, Staz won the Hearthstone championship at the 2016 World Electronic Sports Games held in Changzhou, China. He brought home US$150,000 (around Php 7.2 million), which was the biggest cash prize ever won by an individual Filipino esports athlete at the time.
Staz is by far the most successful Filipino Hearthstone player by a large margin, currently ranking at 8th in Asia-Pacific Grandmasters Season 1, peaking at 3rd/4th.
EnDerr, StarCraft II
Caviar “EnDerr” Acampado is an OG powerhouse in StarCraft II, playing the real-time strategy game professionally since 2011. He has steadily climbed the ranks and is now considered to be one of the best in the trade in the Asia-Pacific region.
At the 2019 WESG SEA Qualifier where he was to defend his Starcraft II championship title, EnDerr failed to secure a back-to-back win and ended up with a runner-up finish to Vietnam. However, this only fuelled his drive and he came back with a vengeance to claim gold at the 2019 SEA Games.
While Magno “Pr0phie” Ramos is an American playing for North American teams, he is also the most successful Filipino PUBG player to date, being one of the first original professional players when the game launched in 2017. Since then, he has played with the big dogs and brought home several PUBG championship titles for his team.
Considered by many as one of the top fraggers in North America, Pr0phie recently scored a strong 3rd place at the PUBG Continental Series 1: North America playing for the Susquehanna Soniqs.
After that big game, Pr0phie has since retired from his PUBG career in order to focus more on streaming and playing Valorant.
Did we miss any of your favorite big names in Filipino esports? Share them with us below.