PLDT, Smart launch pro gaming team ‘Omega’ for country’s first franchise-based esports league
Leading digital services provider PLDT Inc. and its mobile arm Smart Communications are revving up their esports program as they launch their official professional esports team called ‘Omega.’
Formed in partnership with professional esports management Sterling Global Dragons, ‘Omega’ will represent PLDT and Smart in the much anticipated The Nationals, the country’s first franchise-based esports league.
Kicking off on March 17, The Nationals will pit the official esports teams of the league’s six co-founding members against each other in top competitive games, including the official Southeast Asian (SEA) Games-sanctioned titles Dota 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Tekken 7.
As such, The Nationals serves as a hotbed of world-class athletes who may represent the country in major international esports events. Aside from PLDT and Smart, The Nationals co-founders fielding their teams are BrenPro Inc., Cignal TV Inc., Execration, HappyFeet Esports, and STI Education Systems.
Elevating esports in the Philippines
“Launching ‘Omega’ as our official professional esports team reinforces the long-standing commitment of PLDT and Smart to elevate esports in the Philippines, as well as provide the ultimate gaming experience for Filipino gamers, fans, and enthusiasts,” said Andrew L. Santos, FVP and Consumer Marketing Head for PLDT and Smart.
“Experienced ‘Omega’ athletes show what Filipinos are capable of achieving with their passion and dedication to esports. Hence, more than being a formidable team, ‘Omega’ serves as an inspiration to fellow gamers, who, with the right support, can be at par with the best in the world,” adds Santos.
“We share PLDT and Smart’s vision to legitimize and professionalize esports in the Philippines, and our strategic partnership to establish and manage ‘Omega’ is a huge step toward this goal. Collaborations like this serve as a platform for the gaming community to empower home-grown esports athletes in a holistic way, and enable them to reach their full potential, and set high standards for the community,” said Gerry Lim, Sterling Global Dragons President.
Multi-awarded esports athletes
‘Omega’ consists of high-ranking players Julius Cesar Sto Domingo (in-game name: Julz); Jonas Samonte (Nasjo); Jaysie Garan (Yaj); Jinn Marrey Lamatao (Palos); and Pedro de Paula (Efking), with team coach Josef Brazal (JL`). They represent the organization that bagged the Dota 2 championship at the recent ‘Road to the Nationals’ nationwide tournament, and made it to prestigious international tournaments such as The Kuala Lumpur Major SEA Qualifier and The International 2018 SEA Regional Qualifier, among others.
‘Omega’ is also fielding a multi-awarded team for Mobile Legends consisting of players Jules Carmann Marcelo (Lex); Rico J. Esto (Levi); Karl Nepomuceno (Karl); Steve Dale Vitug (Dale); and EJ Esperanza (Boo). Together, they clinched the MLMEMES championship title, as well as placed in various tournaments including Mobile Legends Professional League Season 2 (1st runner-up) and Mobile Esports Arena (1st runner-up), among others.
Meanwhile, 23-year old Juliano Lozano (Jules) will represent ‘Omega’ for the console game Tekken 7. Lozano is regarded as the Philippines’ best player for Tekken 7’s characters Jin and Bob, and recently ranked third among Tekken 7 players in the country. He will be coached by his brother Dannel Lozano (Pica).
Powered by PLDT Home Fibr and Smart LTE
Through the years, PLDT and Smart have led in championing esports in the country by providing the best gaming experience for Filipinos through their services, and by mounting world-class esports events.
In 2016, PLDT and Smart backed ESL One, the first ever major international esports competition in the Philippines, which featured DOTA 2 teams from all over the world, including Team Secret and Fnatic. Both PLDT and Smart also helped put together Manila Masters, the country’s biggest international esports tournament in 2017, which brought together eight of the best international DOTA 2 teams to compete in the Philippines.
Since 2013, PLDT and Smart have also been staunch supporters of the Esports and Gaming Summit (ESGS), the biggest gaming convention in the Philippines that features exciting exhibits, cosplay competition, and fan games.
Filipino gamers can enjoy gaming in the comfort of their home or on the go, powered by PLDT’s fastest Home Fibr connection and Smart’s fastest LTE network.
Follow the journey of ‘Omega,’ and the rest of the professional esports teams in the upcoming “The Nationals” via the official Facebook accounts of PLDT Home (www.facebook.com/PLDTHome) and Smart (www.facebook.com/SmartCommunications), and their official Twitter and Instagram accounts (@PLDTHome) and (@LiveSmart). Catch The Nationals live on EGG Channel on Cignal TV and ESPN5 Plus starting March 17.