Onic Philippines, a local esports team, hit two birds with one stone during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, reigning supreme in a pair of tournaments here and abroad while helping raise funds to help combat COVID-19.
The six-man crew bested seven other Mobile Legend teams from across Southeast Asia during the Mytel Myanmar Charity Tournament last April 8, then went on to win the Amplfy Work From Home Charity Cup here the next day.
“The team huddled immediately and discussed how to help out during the COVID-19 crisis,” skipper Jonmar Villaluna told the Inquirer in Filipino on Saturday.
“We just wanted to help out in the best way we could,” added the 25-year-old gamer, who goes with the tag OhMyV33NUS_ and is ranked 27th in the world.
Joining Villaluna in Onic are Danerie del Rosario, Cedric Pasusani, Joshwell Manaog, Gerald Trinchera and Jason Torculas.
The team, which was only assembled 2019, took down hometown bet Burmese Ghouls in the Myanmar tourney, 3-2, and netted a prize pool of $10,000 (P508,137.90) that it donated to the COVID-19 cure and prevention efforts of the country.
Onic carried its momentum over into the Amplfy contest, where it trounced Bren esports, 3-1, for the title.
Proceeds of the tilt were donated to the United Nation’s COVID-19 response fund, according to event organizer Tier One Entertainment, a gaming agency based in Quezon City.
And with most sporting events ground to a halt, Villaluna believes it is high time that people dabbled in esports because it is a “contactless and convenient” way to compete.
“All you need is a phone,” he said.
Villaluna said Onic is constantly in the lookout for more charity tournaments: “100 percent sure, we’re joining.”
The quarantine measures have thrust traditional sports athletes into isolation, and a handful of them have actively engaged in esports.
Two weeks ago, basketball stars June Mar Fajardo, Marc Pingris, Kiefer Ravena and Japeth Aguilar partnered with Mineski to raise P1 million for the benefit of the Philippine General Hospital’s Medical Foundation.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.