Philippine national esports team Sibol officially kicked off its campaign en route to the 31st SEA Games, which takes place in Hanoi, Vietnam from May 12 to May 23.
After weeks of tryouts, Sibol completed its roster last February 2022 with a total of 55 athletes and 9 coaches vying for the gold at the upcoming biennial regional sports event.
Supported by telco giant Smart, Sibol debuted in the 30th SEA Games in 2019. Since then, it has secured other major sponsors including PLDT, TV5, Cignal, and realme.
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 battlecry was taken from PeSO Executive Director Marlon “Lon” Marcelo’s globally famous caster call from a Dota2 match.
PeSO is the country’s national governing body for esports. It has been a member of the International Esports Federation (IESF) since 2012 and an associate member of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) since 2020.
PeSO also gave a sneak peek at the athlete roster during the press briefing. 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.
Within the next few weeks, Sibol will introduce its complete team, 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. The first batch of delegates is scheduled to fly to Hanoi on the week of May 9.
Sibol will also 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.
Currently, the 64-strong Sibol team is training at the Brenn Esports Facility in Makati, which is funded by Smart.
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.
realme will be sponsoring all 64 delegates with a smartphone for their official use.
The bemedaled 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.