Iloilo Grand Dota 2 Championship: It’s a Freakin’ War

By justine win

It was a great day for both computer gamers and gaming enthusiasts as the 1st Iloilo Grand Dota 2 Championship Tournament was held at Acclaim West Internet Center, Jaro, Iloilo City on March 28-30. The tournament—for the popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game, Dota 2—was participated by 34 teams across Panay.


All the participants—each one in awesome Dota 2 t-shirts—pitted the very best of their team cooperation and strategic gaming skills in the double elimination round against their fellow competitors. The 33 teams who lost on the first day had the chance to secure a spot against the defending teams by competing in the “losers’ bracket”. Four teams from that bracket then played against each other until only one team came face-to-face with the team representing HTC Computer & Gaming Hub, which eventually became the sole winner in the final round.

dota2_championship2_projectiloiloFrom the outset, it seemed like the tournament was unable to be contained in two days, since each one of the 34 teams vying for the top prize were battling for their slots very intensely. Trashtalking—a main component of the Philippine Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) movement—was thankfully kept to a minimum, as each team simply chose to show off what they are really made off not by one-upping the opposing team with creatively worded insults, but by simply showing they really deserved their spot at the tournament by playing their hearts out. It did not matter if their eyes and fingers were about to fall off from all those hours of playing; winning was the only thing that mattered, and it really showed up until the final bracket was determined.

HTC Computer & Gaming Hub—who had gone all the way from Kalibo simply to participate in the tournament—emerged as the grand champions, and they are followed by Kushokito Iukototo Erwin as 2nd placer and Bakhita Cupcake Café as 3rd placer. The winning teams went home with P20,000, P10,000 and P5,000 as cash prizes, respectively.

When asked how they won the whole tournament afterwards, HTC Computer & Gaming Hub answered, “Practice lang po tapos tiwala sa bawat (miyembro). Sa strategy po, kumukuha kami ng idea sa mga nakikita naming laro ng international teams. [We just practiced and trusted each of our members. For our strategy, we took ideas from how the international teams play.]” The “heroes” (characters used in the game) they brought to the final battle was a combination of Viper, Slark, Witch Doctor, and Centaur.

dota2_championship4_projectiloiloThere was also another related story that developed from the tournament however, as the story of Mr. Cris Montinola—a 66-year old avid gamer of Dota 2 and a regular of the venue on which the event was taking place—sparked the interest of many gamers around the world and went viral.

Regardless, this tournament was considered a “success” by Francis Chu, owner of official event venue Acclaim West and one of the co-organizers for the event. “It was fun to watch many teams who joined, from different places across Panay,” he wrote in a short message to Project Iloilo. He also added, “(I) hope we can have this tournament once or twice a year.”

Through the active participation of all the energetic teams, supportive spectators, the sponsorship of select homegrown businesses from Iloilo City, and the hardworking local event organizers, they all made the event fun and unforgettable.

Photos by Thongenn Lanz Patiam)