Philippine national esports team Sibol officially kicks off their 31st SEA Games campaign. The team completed its roster after weeks of tryouts last February 2022 with a total of 55 athletes and 9 coaches. Powered by Smart, the team has also secured other major sponsors including PLDT, TV5, Cignal, and realme – that will be sponsoring all 64 delegates with a smartphone for their official use. Currently, the team is training at the Brenn Esports Facility in Makati, which is funded by Smart.
In a press briefing hosted by the Philippine Esports Organization (PeSO), the team unveiled its new logo, a first look at the official jersey, and its slogan, “Lakad Matatag.” This battle cry was taken from PeSO Executive Director Marlon “Lon” Marcelo’s globally famous caster call from a Dota2 match.
Moreover, PeSO gave a sneak peek at the athlete roster. In attendance were Kristoffer Ed L. Ricaplaza – MLBB World Champion Coach, Christine Ray Roque Natividad – Wildrift No.1 Female team SEA, Angel Danica Quiros Lozada – Wildrift No.1 Female Team SEA, Dennis O. Ramos Jr. – CrossFire FPS game, Ralph Andrei M. Llabres – SIBOL Overall Head Coach, and Jabs Escutin – Sibol General Manager.
Sibol is also set to introduce its complete team within the next few weeks who will be competing in all 10 esports events at the 31st SEA Games: League of Legends, FIFA 4, CrossFire, Arena of Valor, Garena Free Fire, Mobile Legends Bang Bang (MLBB), League of Legends: Wild Rift, and PUBG.
“We’re extremely proud to support a talented and passionate team who has been training relentlessly to represent our country to the best of their abilities. We are confident that Sibol will continue to put the Philippines on the global esports map and prove that Filipinos can dominate in this arena,” says Jane Basas, PeSO board member and SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.
PeSO is the country’s national governing body for esports and has been a member of the International Esports Federation (IESF) since 2012 and an associate member of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) since 2020.
All-female Delegation and Twin Athletes
Sibol will be debuting its first all-female team for League of Legends: Wild Rift at the 31st SEA Games, alongside the first-ever twin male athletes who will be competing individually for Wild Rift. With the exception of Jabs Escutin, the 2019 MLBB manager who brought home the gold medal, the roster comprises fresh faces from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
“Each athlete from the new Sibol team proved that they are at the top of their game when we conducted the nationwide search. The team hails from different backgrounds and ages all united by one shared goal of winning big at the upcoming international events,” says Escutin.
The 31st SEA Games is set to take place in Hanoi, Vietnam from May 12 to May 23, 2022, with the first batch of delegates scheduled to fly to Hanoi on the week of May 9, 2022.
The team will also be representing the Philippines in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou and the 14th IESF Esports World Championship in Bali, both scheduled to take place later this year.