Globe-Mineski team eyes stint in 30th SEA Games

By Jean Malanum

February 8, 2019, 9:20 am

MANILA -- Globe Telecom and Mineski have joined hands to form a professional electronic games (esports) team called "Liyab", which will compete in major international tournaments, including the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games to be held in the Philippines from November 30 to December 11 this year.

Esports, a form of competition using video games, is among the 56 sports calendared in the SEA Games. A total of six gold medals are at stake in esports -- two each in the computer, mobile and console categories.

The "Liyab" Arena of Valor team is composed of Kevin Kio "Gambit" Dizon, Jeremiah "1717" Camarillo, Miguel "Miggie" Banaag, Jevan "Bents" delos Santos and Lawrence "Rubixx" Gatmaitan. Jee Jay "Peaceboy" Ordiales is the coach while Robert "Reality" Evangelista is the manager.

The members of the "Liyab" League of Legends team are Koreans Joo Young "GGamza" Lee and Bae "Gari" Yong-jun, Edrian "Doedoii" Brancia, Eric Allen "Exosen" Gubatan, James "Hamezz" Santos, Lance "Kaigu" Hernandez (sub) and Gerald Gianne "Tgee" Gelacio (sub). Akarawat "Cabbage" Wangsawat of Thailand serves as coach.

Arena of Valor is a mobile game while League of Legends is a computer game.

Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu said the creation of Team Liyab is part of the company’s vision through the Globe Games and Esports Program to accelerate the development of esports in country.

“Liyab will be the symbol of the country’s burning passion and pride in global esports events. 'Liyab', which translates to ‘Blaze,’ represents the team’s intense passion and focus in the realm of esports,” Cu said during the team's presentation at the Globe Tower in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City on Thursday.

He said Team Liyab will play a major role on how Globe would redefine the gaming and esports habits of Filipinos by expanding its #PlayItRight advocacy into gaming responsibility.

“We are now positioning gaming and esports like a real sport for Filipino gamers to follow. By focusing on the total development of the esports athlete, such as physical wellness, nutrition, discipline and cognitive development, this provides gamers an avenue to progress to a professional level,” Cu said.

Through its partnership with Mineski, which is a professional gaming organization in the Philippines, Globe hopes to further strengthen the country’s esports program and fortify the country's position alongside established esports giants in the region.

According to Mineski president and CEO Ronald Robins, esports is now at a stage whereby new roles are being filled in to assure the constant growth and progress of the athletes. He mentioned the creation of a professional sports team management system by introducing sports science, mental and physical programs, as well as proper training facilities – moving away from playing houses.

“With the proper management system, we strongly believe we can overcome the hurdles and set an example for many to follow suit as well, to make each country competitive with each game and also to promote a stronger region overall,” Robins said.

He said that Mineski will help shape the local gaming industry by creating professional standards for esports athlete development, and influence attitudes, personalities and aspirations of the next generation of gamers.

Since the launch of the Globe Games and Esports Program in April last year, it has organized and hosted international esports tournaments, such as the Globe Philippine Pro Gaming League, Globe Conquerors Manila, and Valor Cup.

Meanwhile, Globe senior vice president for content business Nikko Acosta added that the Globe Games and Esports Program has set the trend in all gaming access, such as mobile, PC and consoles.

“With the birth of Liyab Esports Team, we will be disrupting esports and games much like how we changed the digital lifestyle and entertainment in the Philippines. The Philippines will finally have a systematic and professionalized program for esports," she said.

Team Liyab, together with teams from Malaysia and Thailand, represented Southeast Asia in the 2018 League of Legends Rift Rivals against Japan and Oceania. They also joined the Globe Conquerors Manila, which is considered as the most prestigious League of Legends esports event in Southeast Asia last year.

Liyab also participated in all Arena of Valor Valor Cup regional tournaments in 2018 and finally claimed the title in the Globe Philippine Pro Gaming League (PPGL) Season 3 - Arena of Valor, while Liyab Hearthstone division player Cara Cute finished fourth in the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) SEA also last year. (PNA)