The Philippines is home to several top-tier esports athletes, from ancient PC strategy games to old-school fighting games to modern mobile esports.
But who are the country’s all-time best esports athletes?
We believe these five Filipino pros have had the most impact on history, having emerged from grassroots events and worked their way to the top.
Jicko B. Djardel “DJ” Mampusti’s claim to esports fame in the Philippines is as the captain of FNATIC’s Dota 2 team. DJ has progressed from his humble beginnings playing at computer shops in Marikina City to being one of the finest players in Philippine esports, with international recognition.
For many years, he led FNATIC in Dota 2 Tournament such as the Shanghai Major, Manila Major, ESL One Katowice, and The International. DJ has also had a brief run with Execration’s Dota 2 team and invested in Filipino internet cafe company TheNet.Com, called TNC.
Starcraft II – EnDerr
Caviar Napoleon “EnDerr” Marquises-Acampado has been a stalwart in the Starcraft II competitive scene for almost a decade. And his name is nearly associated with StarCraft in the Philippine esports scene. He won the 2012 StarCraft II World Championship Series: SEA Nationals, the ESL ANZ Winter Cup, the WESG 2018 SEA Qualifier and most recently, the Dreamhack StarCraft II Masters 2020 Winter: Oceania and Southeast Asia for the Philippines.
EnDerr also holds the record for being the first StarCraft player to earn a gold medal in an Olympic event. Taking gold for the Philippines in the esports category at the 2019 SEA Games. He is still very active in the StarCraft II scene, where he plays for Liyab Esports.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang – Ribo
CJ Ribo is the only Filipino professional esports player to have won a global championship (M2). A SEA Games gold medal, and two MPL championships. Not to mention the several other competitions he has won, including the Razer SEA Invitational. The Nationals, and the Challenger SEA Summit, to name a few.
The seasoned Mobile Legends esports player has competed professionally since Season 1 of the MPL, with all of his clubs making the playoffs. He is also the first professional athlete to have played every position on the team. Under Bren Esports, who are now fighting in MPL PH Season 7, Ribo shows no signs of slowing down.
League of Legends – Xmithie
Jake Kevin Puchero, alias Xmithie, is a Filipino-American League of Legends player who has formerly played for Team Liquid. Counter Logic Gaming, and Immortals.
Xmithie, now known as one of the top junglers in the League of Legends Championship Series. began playing League in 2011. He worked his way up from ranked games to small tournaments before making his professional debut with mTw.NA. He won the 2015 NA LCS Summer Playoffs, the 2016 NA LCS Spring Playoffs, and the 2018 NA LCS Spring Playoffs with Counter Logic Gaming. He is currently a member of Immortals.
Tekken 7 – AK
Alexandre “AK” Laverez rose to prominence at the age of 13 after competing in the 2013 King of Iron Fist Global Championship. Where he faced off against some of the world’s best Tekken 7 players.
Since he was barely in his teens, the child prodigy has been competing at the highest level of competitive. Tekken play earning podium finishes in global events such as the SEA Major Singapore 2018. Evolution Championship Series Japan 2019, and Tekken World Tour Finals 2019 LCQ.
At the 2019 SEA Games, he represented the Philippines and won silver in the esports category for Tekken 7. As a college student, he must balance his studies. AK will compete at The Nationals Season 3 under Laus Playbook Esports.
Who do you think is the best player out of the five mentioned above?