From Personal to Professional: Kevin 'Gambit' Dizon’s Road to SEAG 2019 | Inquirer Sports

From Personal to Professional: Kevin ‘Gambit’ Dizon’s Road to SEAG 2019

11:39 AM November 29, 2019

The 2019 SEA Games begin in a matter of days, with national and international athletes setting their eyes on the gold for their respective sports. For Globe and Minseki’s Team Liyab, this prestigious event brings a wealth of opportunities for Philippine esports — this year’s categories include competitions for competition includes categories for competitive video games including Hearthstone, Starcraft II, and Arena of Valor. 

For esports athlete Kevin “Gambit” Dizon, team captain of Liyab’s Arena of Valor division, this competition is a milestone in his competitive gaming career.

“Ever since I was young, it’s always been my dream to be in competitions competitive video gaming because I noticed that I had skills in playing several games. I had started my esports career with League of Legends before I had to stop to pursue a different work for my son. It was in this work that I went back to gaming but with Arena of Valor, a mobile MOBA game.”

What began as a personal journey has grown into a livelihood.

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“Going into esports was really born out of passion. At the start, we had a minimal salary that was close to just an allowance with our first teams before Liyab. But I knew that I had the capability to make it big in mobile esports so I worked hard together with my teammates and I believe we’re slowly reaping the fruits of our work. What inspired me to continue is wanting to prove that esports can be a capable and sustainable form of living. Aside from this, I want to prove to myself that I can be at the top of my game and going toe-to-toe with the international teams.”

Dizon himself is well-accustomed to the rigors of the esports athlete life, which for him and many other players in full-time employment. This is competitive gaming as a career, rather than a hobby.

“Liyab Esports’ Arena of Valor Team together with Malaysia’s M8Hexa and fellow Philippine team, Bren Esports”

“The Liyab Esports’ Arena of Valor team were the ESL MSP Champions in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia”

“Part of Liyab’s advocacy is to really show that being a professional esports athlete gamer is like a normal job where we work 8 am-5 pm that isn’t all gaming. We want to be able to narrate to others that with esports professional gaming comes all the facets similar to that of traditional sports – physical training, mental training, game analysis w/ statistics, and factors in holistic training.”

Having previously bested other Southeast Asian talents at a regional event, Dizon and his team are no strangers to international competition.

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“After playing a few community tournaments in Cavite for Arena of Valor, our team decided to join the Valor Cup Tournament hosted by Garena. It was a regional tournament with the Philippines going against Singaporean and Malaysian teams. We won the first ever Valor Cup tournament against big teams like Clutch Gaming (PH), Tamago (SG), and M8Hexa (MY). We were able to bag 400,000 PHP.”

With the team’s most high-profile international event on the horizon, Dizon hopes Team Liyab’s efforts will further boost the local esports scene’s steady growth.

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“We’re hoping that one day, there will be a lot of entry points for anybody who wants to go inside esports whether as a player, management or staff. It would be good to have entry points on an amateur level, semi-professional, and professional level. We also hope that the international bodies will continue to recognize esports in tournaments such as the SEA Games.”

“Kevin “Gambit” Dizon is the captain of the Arena of Valor National Team for the 2019 SEA Games”

If you want to follow Gambit’s journey beyond SEA Games 2019, he has a personal streaming page on Facebook where he shares his live content at facebook.com/LYB.Gambit. You can also follow the journey of Liyab Esports at facebook.com/teamliyab, twitter.com/teamliyab, and instagram.com/teamliyab./Brian Maniquis

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TAGS: SEAG, SEAG 2019

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