Sen. Bam wishes TNC Pro, Execration ‘good luck’ in The International DOTA 2 Championships

Sen. Bam Aquino joined the training of the Filipino DOTA team TNC Pro before it travels to Seattle, Washington Sunday to participate in The International DOTA 2 Championships, the biggest esports event in the world.

“It’s not every day that you get to play with the best in the world so it was a big honor that I was allowed to join their practice before they travel to Seattle tomorrow (Sunday),” said Sen. Bam, who joined TNC Pro’s practice session when he visited the group’s DOTA Gaming House.

After placing in the eighth among 18 teams in last year’s edition of the tournament, Sen. Bam believes that the team can do even better this year. The members of TNC Pro are Theeban “1437” Siva, Carlo “Kuku” Palad, Sam “Samh” Hidalgo, Marco Polo Luis “Raven” Fausto and Timothy John “Tims” Randrup.

“These gentlemen play with a lot of skill and talent, and they also play with a lot of Pinoy pride,” said Sen. Bam, who also wished Team Execration, the other Filipino team in the tournament, the best of luck.

Sen. Bam provided help in the travel of TNC Pro, the winner in the Southeast Asian qualifying event while Execration placed third behind Fnatic.

The two Filipino squads will battle it out against the best of Europe (Team Secret, HellRaisers and Team Empire), China (iG Vitality, LGD.Forever Young and LGD Gaming), North America (Cloud9 and Digital Chaos), South America (Infamous) and direct invites OG, Virtus.Pro, Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, Invictus Gaming and Newbee. The tournament offers a total purse of $22,810,242.

Sen. Bam is a supporter of Filipino esports athletes and game development in the Philippines for its huge potential in bringing honor to the country and creating jobs and livelihood for Filipinos.

The senator helped establish Philippine esports Association (PeSPA) to strengthen the foundation of esports in the country, look after the welfare of cyber athletes and stakeholders and promote esports in the country.

Sen. Bam: Game development, esports gaining momentum in PH

A senator believes that esports and game development in the country are gaining momentum towards being a source of honor and employment opportunities for Filipinos.

Sen. Bam Aquino based his pronouncement on recent developments that put esports and the country’s game development industry on the spotlight.

Recently, esports was included in the Asian Games as demonstration sport in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia. In 2022, esports will be an official medal event at the 2022 Hangzhou Games.

 In addition, the Mandaue-based University of The Visayas New School included esports and game development in its Senior High Arts and Design track.

 “I believe that if we strengthen academic-industry linkages and work with our schools to develop the skills and creativity of future Filipino game developers, we will be able to grow this industry more,” said Sen. Bam, a staunch supporter of esports and game development industry in the country.

The university said it will teach game strategy for Dota 2, game design and development animation and 2D and 3D animation and game creation. After two years, the students can either choose to be game creators, designers, or e-sports players in the professional league.

 The senator has been supporting Filipino esports athletes, who have excelled in previous international events, including the prestigious International DOTA 2 Championship event inSeattle where Filipino squad TNC finished eighth.

Sen. Bam helped establish Philippine esports Association (PeSPA) to strengthen the foundation of esports in the country, look after the welfare of cyber athletes and stakeholders and promote esports in the country.

 Aside from this, Sen. Bam is also an ardent of the video game development industry in thePhilippines due to its tremendous potential to create fresh employment opportunities for Filipinos.

“All the ingredients are there to really make this work and primary of which is the Filipinos’ combination of artistry and technical know-how that can be the foundation for the game development industry in the Philippines,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam: Inclusion of esports in Asian Games welcome development for PH cyber athletes

A senator welcomed the inclusion of esports in the Asian Games, saying it will provide Filipinos another venue to showcase their skills and excel in the international stage as they compete for the country’s flag and honor.

“The inclusion of esports in the prestigious Asian Games will give Filipino esports athletes opportunity to showcase their talent and bring honor to the Philippines,” said Sen. Bam Aquino, an ardent supporter of local esports and video game development industry in the country.

With the addition of esports in the Asian Games, Sen. Bam said Filipino esports talents will now be recognized as legitimate athletes and entitled to financial and other forms of support from the government, like traditional athletes who compete in international events.

“With this development, we expect the government to fully support our Filipino cyber athletes as they hone their skills through training and participation in local and international events,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.

“Also, the inclusion will eventually correct the public’s negative perception about esports, especially if they properly managed and given guidance by the government,” he added.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) announced that esports will be a demonstration sport at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia. In 2022, esports will be an official medal event at the 2022 Hangzhou Games.

With Sen. Bam’s help, the Philippine esports Association (PeSPA) was formed to strengthen the foundation of esports in the country. Also, it was established to look after the welfare of cyber athletes and stakeholders and the promotion of esports in the country. Sen. Bam was also selected as PeSPA’s honorary chairman.

Sen. Bam has been supporting Filipino esports athletes, who have excelled in previous international events, including the prestigious International DOTA 2 Championship event in Seattle where Filipino squad TNC finished eighth.

The lawmaker also supports the video game development industry in the Philippines because of its potential to create fresh employment opportunities for Filipinos.

Bam on PH’s campaign in The International DOTA 2 tournament

Congratulations to TNC for putting the Philippines in the spotlight as a force to reckon with in the DOTA 2 community.

 TNC’s outstanding performance at The International will leave a lasting mark, especially your win over heavily favored OG squad, in the biggest DOTA 2 stage in the world.

 Maraming salamat sa buong giting na pagdala ng bandila ng Pilipinas sa nasabing torneo. Ipinagmalalaki kayo ng buong bansa!

 Tuloy pa po ang laban ni DJ ng Team Fnatic. Congratulations, DJ! We’re all behind you!


* Sen. Bam is a staunch supporter of eSports and video game development industry in the country.

Bam: All systems go for 2 PH teams to The International

With all kinks now ironed out, it’s all systems go for the two Philippine teams that will see action in The International – the biggest DOTA tournament in the world —  in Seattle, Washington, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.
Sen. Bam announced that Execration and TNC Pro Team have received the required visas to participate in the tournament with a grand prize of 18 million US dollars, which will be held from August 3 to 13.
“Our prayers for TNC and Execration have been answered. Matutuloy sila sa The International DOTA2 Championships at tuloy rin ang ating pagsuporta!” said Sen. Bam, an ardent supporter of local eSports and video game development industry in the country. 
Out of around 20,000 teams vying to qualify for this competition, Sen. Bam said only 18 will compete and two are from the Philippines.
“I would like to wish our Philippine teams good luck as they represent our country in the world stage! We are very proud of you,” the senator added.
Execration and TNC, for their part, thanked Sen. Bam for his continuing support to the eSports community.


Bam congratulates Filipino Dota 2 team for making it to ‘The International’

Congratulations to TNC for making it to the prestigious “The International’ Dota 2 Championships in Seattle, Washington.

 As the first Filipino team to qualify to the final stage of the four-leg event after five years, may you bring honor to the country as you battle top Dota squads from around the world

Best of luck to Marco “Raven” Fausto, Carlo “Kuku” Palad, Samson “Sam_H” Hidalgo, Nino “eyyou” Barcelon and Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho.

 Ipakita niyo ang husay na naglagay sa mga Pilipino sa hanay ng pinakamagagaling na eSports athletes sa mundo!

Bam: PH ‘next big thing’ in eSports, Video Game Development

Bam Aquino at the Manila MajorSen. Bam Aquino, an avid supporter of the local eSports industry, believes the hosting of the Manila Major can help the Philippines boost its image as next eSports and video game development hotbed in the world.

 “I think this is just the beginning. The whole world is getting to see that the Philippines is a player in the eSports scene,” Aquino said in an interview at the Manila Major event held at the Mall of Asia Arena.

 The third event of Valve’s Dota Major Championships, the Manila Major features 16 international teams battling it out for a total pot of $3 million and spots in The International 2016, which will be held in Seattle, Washington in July.

  “There are only four of these events every year and we get to host it. I’m hoping that this will be a yearly event, leading up to the biggest competition in the United States. Hopefully, this will be a permanent stop,” said Sen. Bam.

Aside from the eSports industry, Sen. Bam said the Philippines is now a favorite destination for video game developers, creating employment for more Filipinos. 

Manila Major 2016

 “We’ve been helping the game development industry set up shop here in the Philippines. Big publisher is setting up a studio here in partnership with one of the biggest schools,” said Sen. Bam.

 “So many things are happening, especially with the number of jobs being created because of events like this (Manila Major) and because of the movements in the game development world,” he added.

 Sen. Bam also lauded the organizers, led by the Philippine eSports Organization (PEO), PGL and Valve, for the successful staging of the world-class event in the country.

 “This is just a start. A lot of people here worked really hard to put this up. It took years to put it up. The first time we spoke, it was just a dream, now it’s here,” said Sen. Bam, whose initiative led to the formation of PeSPA to strengthen the foundation of eSports in the country.

 Recently, the country hosted the ESL One Dota Tournament, which was held for the first time in Southeast Asia.


Bam lauds staging of ESL One in PH

Sen. Bam Aquino, an avid supporter of the eSports industry, lauds the staging of the ESL One Dota Tournament in the country, saying this is a chance to show cyber athletes from around the world that eSports is more fun in the Philippines.

The ESL One will be held for the first time in Southeast Asia with the first-ever premium Dota 2 tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena from April 23 to 24.

 The event will feature top teams from around the world as they battle for a lion’s share of the $250,000 top purse and the honor of becoming ESL One champion.

 Sen. Bam is expected to grace the event’s kickoff on Saturday (April 23).

Sen. Bam said the event will put the country as the next mecca for eSports and will bring fresh employment and business opportunities for Filipinos.

“ESL coming to the Philippines, will bring business opportunities and prestige to the country,” said Sen. Bam.

The office of Sen. Bam has been extending assistance to the local eSports community as support for the growth of the community and development of the e-industry in the country.

“We’ve been greatly impressed working with our eSports community and our Filipino cyber athletes, not only with their success in global competitions, but also in their dedication to professionalize our local eGaming industry,” said Sen. Bam. 

Through Sen. Bam’s initiative, the Philippine eSports Association (PeSPA) was formed to strengthen the foundation of eSports in the country.

E-Sports Interview with Bam

Q: May call na magkaroon ng parang autonomous body ang e-sports in the Philippines. Are you aware of that and how willing will you be to work with them?


Sen. Bam: I think it would be great na magkaroon ng association for e-sports. Earlier, we talked about possibly talking to the Philippine Sports Commission to see kung may mga paraan para ma-recognize officially sila ng gobyerno.


Private body would be even better and we are willing to support naman.


We’ve talked to the players. We’ve been supporting them for the last couple of trips nila. We’re hoping na di na maulit iyong pag-o-offload.


Sabi nga namin, lahat ng paperwork na kailangan, lahat ng permiso, siguraduhin na natin early on para wala na silang obstacles to get to their tournaments and training programs.


Q: Mas maganda mag-training sa Korea because they have better Internet. Have you also looked into that problem here na medyo sub-par ang Internet?


Sen. Bam: We have one of the worst Internet in the ASEAN. Actually, that’s one of our main advocacies, to improve the Internet infrastructure here in the Philippines.


So hopefully, if we’re able to improve [our Internet here in the country], we will develop our e-sports industry even more and we will be able to support more of our cyber athletes.


Q: Have other government employees and offices expressed interest in helping e-sports?


Sen. Bam: Feeling ko wala, to be frank. Nauna na kami dahil we’ve been dealing with the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP).


We’ve been helping them try to get more leads and bring more companies to the Philippines kasi naniniwala kami na there’s a lot of talent and a lot of competency in the Philippines.


Doon nagsimula iyon. We’ve been helping them bring in companies like Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft. We’ve been talking to these guys to set up studios here. Hopefully, may good news iyan in a couple of months.


Through that effort, nakilala namin ang e-sports players. That’s when they came to us and asked for help kay Team Rave. We’ve been trying to help them with their paperwork and mga permits and regulations nila.


Unfortunately, di sila nakipag-coordinate for their last trip to Korea. But now, we’re helping them and hopefully, maayos na iyon.


In fact, we organized a meeting with them and the POEA para lahat ng paperwork nga nila maayos na. Sabi nga namin, we will do our best to make sure that they travel safely to Korea, eventually to the States and be able to compete there


We’re proud of this team dahil they’re No. 1 in Southeast Asia, they’re the underdogs, they beat huge teams from really huge countries.


Kita ninyo naman, hindi pa kasi kasinlakas ang e-sports sa ating bansa compared to those countries and they’re already able to place.


We’re hoping that with more support from Pinoys and from different institutions that they can really bring home the gold and take the largest prize money.


We’re quite proud of them and we hope na they have more continued success as they continue their journey.

POEA extends support to professional Dota 2 Team Rave

Team Rave at the office of POEA
L-R: Director Robert Larga (POEA), Officer Norman Cualteros (Office of Sen. Bam), Director Jesus Gabriel C. Domingo (POEA), Hoff Sacobo (Rave), Mark ‘Cast’ Pilar (Rave), Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac (POEA), Djardel ‘Chrissy’ Mampusti (Rave)





The office of Senator Bam Aquino wrote to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration(POEA) after the offloading incident of Filipino professional Dota 2 team, Rave. Senator Bam intends to find out the root causes of the problem and to solve the issues so it would not happen again in the future.

POEA invited the three players of Rave that were involved in the incident for a meeting. In the said meeting POEA was clarified with Rave’s state as a professional gaming team that frequently participates in online and offline gaming tournaments in order to financially sustain themselves with prize money – all this without a salary. Rave’s biggest win so far being their 5th place finish at the Dota 2 Asian Championships at China which netted them at least $150,000 (around P6.6 million).

Rave also clarified with POEA that the players do indeed have a contract but does not make them employees because of the absense of a salary clause. Rave’s Korean manager, Pyung Kwon, provides them a place to stay (gaming house) with a fast and stable internet connection at South Korea. Because of the country’s location and internet, training at Korea enables Rave to scrim with teams all over the world which includes North America, Europe, and China – a very unique and sizable advantage.

POEA extends their support towards the professional Dota 2 team, and clarified with them what are the right documents and processes for convenient travelling especially with The International Dota 2 Championships (the biggest annual Dota 2 tournament, last year’s prize pool reached $10,930,698 or P486 million) closing in this August 2015 at Seattle, USA.

The offloading incident caused Rave to perform poorly in various qualifiers for international tournaments:

  • online SEA qualifier for Starladder 12, main event in Bucharest, Romania (pulled out due to schedule conflict with US visa appointments for Major League Gaming)
  • online SEA qualifier for ESL ONE, main event at Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt, Germany (lost to Underminer at the quarterfinals)
  • online SEA qualifier for Redbull Battlegrounds, main event at Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, California (lost to Team Malaysia at the finals)

Rave however managed to qualify for The Summit 3, a $200,000 tournament at Los Angeles, California which is set this coming May 2015. Their performance in this tournament will weigh heavily towards their chance of a direct invite to The International 2015.

The office of Senator Bam thanked POEA for their willingness to extend their help towards the Filipino professional Dota 2 team.

Bam Aquino then addressed the questions as to why he is in full-support to esports.

“Malaki kasi ang potensiyal ng nasabing industriya na makakatulong sa paglago ng ekonomiya ng ating bansa.

Marami nang kumpanyang Pilipino ang pumapasok sa industriyang ito, mula sa paggawa ng animation hanggang sa pag-develop ng software.

Ang katumbas nito ay daan-daang bagong trabaho at kabuhayan para sa ating mga kababayan.
Ang pagratsada ng industriyang ito ay katulad din ng paghataw ng business process outsourcing industry sampung taon na ang nakalipas.

Ito’y puno ng potensiyal para sa papasimulang negosyo at kayang magbigay ng magandang trabaho para sa mga artists at developers.

Sa galing ng mga Pilipino sa pagdidisenyo ng software, ang Pilipinas ay nagiging isa na sa mga paboritong destinasyon ng online video gaming companies para sa paggawa ng bagong produkto.

Maliban pa rito, kilala na rin ang mga Pilipino bilang isa sa mga aktibong manlalaro ng online games sa mundo.

Sa ngayon, mayroon nang halos 29 milyong Pilipino ang naglalaro ng online games. Sa nasabing bilang, nasa dalawampung milyon ang casual gamers habang nasa siyam na milyon ang tinatawag na midcore at hardcore gamer.

Kung mabibigyan ng sapat na suporta, lalo pang lalago ang potensiyal ng video gaming industry bilang pagmumulan ng trabaho at kabuhayan, maliban pa sa mga karangalan na gaya ng bigay ng Team Rave!”





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