Sixty-seven players from the Sibol Training Pool participated in a Combine event held at Ayala Malls Circuit Makati last 29-31 August. The event served as the athletes’ strongest bid in trying to qualify for the national team, with everyone hoping to be part of the final 27 that will be announced on 11 September.
The managers and coaches prepared training matches and sessions for their athletes in the three-day event. For some team games, this was an opportunity to try compositions that were not possible before.
Aside from the playing area that was always available, the games and the players were also brought to the stage to test their performances when placed under the spotlight.
All the game results in the Combine are analyzed and recorded, and each would help in how the players are being evaluated. It is important to note that some of the games in the pool have already been doing these in the weeks leading to the event.
The training pool who participated in this event is composed of those who were either directly invited or have advanced through the national qualifiers. The prestige at stake is high because this is the first time that esports will be a medaled event in any multisport competition. Because of this, everyone eligible participated except for the ten invited Dota 2 players who withdrew because of other commitments and to focus on the upcoming Dota Pro Circuit.
Ramon Suzara, COO of Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), was present in the Combine. “This is a first that esports will be a medal event in the Southeast Asian Games. I am hoping that out of the six events, we can get six gold medals,” said Suzara in support of Sibol.
With the high expectations, the responsibility now falls into the hands of the managers and coaches. Because of the difference of the games, the heads will have different metrics and criteria to grade the performance of their respective athletes. For team games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, for example, communication and teamwork are vital traits and are given importance. For a single-player game like Tekken 7, on the other hand, player skill and competence are given more weight.
The evaluation currently is on its final stages. From the pool of 77 players, a trimmed-down 27-player roster is set to be revealed on 11 September. That number is broken down to seven each for the team games (Dota 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Arena of Valor), and two individuals each for the other games (Tekken 7, Hearthstone, StarCraft II).
For more information about Sibol, head over to the Sibol Esports Facebook page (FB.com/SIBOLesports). Additional updates on the team and more information can be found on the official website SIBOLesports.ph and on the other social media pages (Twitter, Instagram) @SIBOLesports.