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Cignal bags Dota 2 crown

/ 05:33 AM April 21, 2019

The “favorite” label was with them every step of the way, and the Cignal Ultra Warriors made sure to live up to their lofty billing, mounting a gritty final stand to edge the Suha-Execration Punishers and capture the first-ever The Nationals Dota 2 crown recently.

It was a pulsating battle for the title eagerly followed by eSports fans and gamers, and also by sports officials trying to get a pulse of the rising industry as it prepares to make its debut as an official sport in the 30th Southeast Asian Games the country will host.

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Six gold medals will be available in eSports for the SEA Games, with officials scrambling to form a ruling body that will be the official sports association of the discipline in the Philippine Olympic Committee.

With the SEA Games scheduled toward the end of the year, a de facto group has been formed to oversee the formation of the national team that will compete in the biennial meet.

While tryouts for the national squad have yet to be set, this year’s staging of The Nationals is expected to uncover some shoo-ins for the team.

In Dota 2 alone, there were a lot of sterling performances.

After registering a league-best 13-3 in the preliminary round, the Warriors went out with guns blazing—almost literally—in the finals’ series opener.

The Punishers, though, scripted an equally sensational comeback in Game 2, which featured a 27-minute stomp. Their brilliance carried over to Game 3, pushing the top dogs of the group stage to the brink of a painful loss.

But with Fernando Mendoza at the helm, the Warriors were able to force a battle for all the marbles in Game 4.

The Cignal squad leaned on Mendoza’s leadership anew in the rubbermatch and banked on a strong push-oriented crew bearing handles like Beastmaster, Pugna, Jakiro, Dazzle and Sven to seal the deal in the skirmish held at Gariath Concepts in Eastwood City.

The Warriors—comprised of Jomari Aniz, Pio Emeterio, Erice Guerra, and Van Manalaysay—nabbed a cash prize of P400,000.

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Members of the Cignal squad now lead the list of favorites to make the SEA Games team, where the country is expected to be a favorite, considering some of the prize-rich global tournaments it has participated in—and won.

The Punishers, for their part, earned P200,000 while second runner-up Omega went home with P100,000. —DENISON REY A. DALUPANG

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TAGS: Cignal Ultra Warriors, Suha-Execration Punishers, The Nationals Dota 2
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