DESPITE the unfamiliarity to one another before teaming up for the first intercollegiate Dota 2 tournament in the country, UST’s team “Kangkong” showcased genuine camaraderie en route to the championship.
Team Kangkong, whose name suggests inferiority, swept Ateneo de Manila University’s ADMU Saltstack in the best-of-five finals series of Impetus 2017 at the TNC High Grounds Café last June 25 to finish the tournament with an immaculate 9-0 record.
“Our initial goal was only to win the UST tournament,” Ivan Wenceslao told the Varsitarian. “But when we fought against the other seven schools, we thought we can win it all.”
Before the success, team captain Eugene Cabangon (midlaner), a fourth-year Computer Science student, had trouble finding competitive players in his major. He then sought the help of classmate Charles Balagot (support).
In need of three more players, Cabangon posted an invitation on a Facebook group for Dota 2 players. Biology junior Mike de los Santos (carry) was the first to comment on the post before Information Technology juniors Wenceslao (support) and Jose Alberto (offlaner) completed the squad.
To solidify their team play, Team Kangkong practiced against Dota teams from different schools around Manila.
“We really wanted to win. Aside from the prize, we are representing UST so it was an honor for us to become champions,” Cabangon said.
Team Kangkong took home a total of P35,000 from the tournament, with P10,000 coming from interschool eliminations and P25,000 coming from the intercollegiate competition.
Cabangon said they are planning to ditch “Kangkong” as their team name to make the squad sound more serious and to gain more support.
Amid the misconception that computer gaming gets in the way of academics, Cabangon said the team prioritizes “acads before lakads” and makes sure to separate time for Dota 2 and studies.
Impetus 2017 was organized by the University of the Philippines Gaming Guild (UPGG). UPGG initially planned to establish an electronic sports (eSports) league in the Diliman-Katipunan area with UP, Ateneo and Miriam College as target schools.
A partnership with TheNet.com eSports and Acer Predator paved the way for all eight UAAP schools to participate in the tournament.
Dota 2 is a strategic, online multiplayer and battle arena video game developed by Valve Corporation and a sequel franchise to the Defense of the Ancients or Dota.
It is one of the most popular online games in the country.