eSports Diary: Thoughts on ESL One Manila

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Day 1 (Saturday):

Had loaf bread and jam for breakfast, rice and mashed potatoes for lunch, and a MCDo chicken fillet meal for dinner

Day 2 (Sunday):

Had loaf bread and chicken tinola for breakfast, rice and mashed potatoes for lunch, and a MCDo chicken fillet meal for dinner

Stats: 

Recap articles made: four
Interviews made: two
Articles that can be made out of those interviews: three to four
Autographs for myself: seven
Autographs for my friends: more or less the same number
Hours spent covering the event on day 1: 12 hours
Hours spent covering the event on day 2: 9 hours
Selfies taken: Half a dozen

OVERVIEW: One big event. 9 out of 10 for just about everything – I don’t give anything beyond 9.5 anyway.

If you want to have a look at my thoughts on ESL Manila, carry on!


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It was mostly sunny weather when ESL One Manila began in full earnest. Being the first international Dota 2 event here in the country, expectations for #ESLOneManila were high as it represented many milestones in the history of Philippine electronic sports (eSports).

ESL Manila is the first $250,000 (i.e. big-purse) Dota 2 tourney to be held in the country. It is also as well the first gaming event to be shown both on national TV and on primetime programming. Most importantly, it is one of the first big-ticket gaming events in recent years to be officially supported by the Philippines’ very own Department of Tourism.

My expectations going into the event have mostly been positive as it is under the auspices of ESL and Mineski, who are among the leaders of the eSports industry internationally and locally, respectively.

When I stepped into the cool and cozy grounds of the Mall of Asia (MoA) Arena, I can clearly feel the hype, excitement and energy as the local crowd chanted and cheered for their favorite teams.

Most of the people cheered for Mineski, Secret (a European team) and Liquid (who keeps teams in other games as well); whenever the crowd sees one of these teams on stage (or even one or two players), they just get fired up!

But it does not mean that they don’t appreciate good plays as the crowd cheered and clapped for every nicely-executed gameplay that happens in-game.

In the end, the Chinese in the form of Wings Gaming grabbed the trophy, 3-0. away from Team Liquid (who placed second during the Shanghai Dota 2 Major.)

As for the two days I’ve been at the event, the players, managers, casters, analysts and (take note: writers) who were on-site were really accommodating, friendly and amazing. For me, it was not just the biggest event in my 18 months of covering eSports; it was also one of the most enjoyable events that I’ve attended in my entire life!

Most importantly, the Filipino crowd…no, OUR CROWD showed their enthusiasm and energy at such an event. The passion was just…mind-blowing, to say the least.

Sure enough, I was not able to buy anything from the ESL Shop (they were way too expensive and even though I wanted to buy, I don’t have the money at hand to do so.)

But still, it was great and the epicness of the event was way beyond my expectations. Congratulations to all the people behind this event!

It was a nice experience covering this event for eSports@INQUIRER.Net.

Hoping to more events to come!

 

More Thoughts on Teaching

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About nine months ago, I punched my first-ever time-in at the elementary department of Fountain International School. I was a fresh graduate back then who knew nothing about the intricacies and surprises of real life.

All of a sudden, I started teaching Reading, Values and ESL to students from three different grade levels. As an international school, our students come from different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds: We sure are a melting pot where the sights, tastes and colors of our respective cultures live side by side in diversity.

Time sure flies fast.

The first year of teaching is almost done and I felt that I haven’t grasped the full grip of teaching just yet. My learning process is like a slow boat to China: It takes a lot of time and effort, innumerable mistakes are done along the way, more of the same troubles are encountered…so it is a great victory to learn one or two things at the end of the day.

Luckily, the things learnt in teaching are more or less permanent in one’s mind. That’s the bright sport of hardship: Once you achieve something, you are able to keep it around for a long time.

I feel that I’m fortunate to have a great teaching environment and to have colleagues who are kind enough to pitch some sort of advice every now and then.

I am also happy to have bright, creative and patient students who understand the difficulties that I have. I hope that they were able to learn a thing or two in my subjects!

Right now, I know that I’m not even a run-of-the-mill teacher and that I have a lot more to learn. I freely admit that I do a lot of mistakes and that there are times that they cause lots of inconvenience.

At least, I know now how to do some lessons the right way. Finally, I can see students learning something substantial. Something good is happening, right?

Knowing that being a neophyte teacher and expecting to get smacked in the face is part of the job. This person is lucky enough to have gotten some communication skills along the way: Learning how to speak nice and loud surely helps!

One of my high water marks in my teaching career so far is the activation of the school paper. Without the content provided by the students and without everyone’s encouragement, I even doubt that we have a student-oriented publication as this.

It has turned out to be an extremely engaging paper and it has been one of the hottest posts on the school’s social media pages. I was happy (and a bit proud) to see my students promoting the paper and being able to showcase their literary & artistic talents: It is not easy to convince people to do something that makes them go out of their comfort zone.

As I said, teaching is not a smooth-sailing ride. But I know now why it is considered to be a noble profession of service.

Teaching is a form of art that transcends age, race, color, creed and time. The things that one does in teaching may make or break a certain student’s future.

It’s not warts and all for me when it comes to teaching, but I understand the sacrifice that people put into teaching…and I try to embrace and love it even though it is not my dream job!

All things said and done, no matter which career path I take in the future, I will always place this teaching career in an important corner of my mind.

Ten Thousand Thoughts

As you may all know, “ten thousand thoughts” is a hyperbole.

But if anyone realizes how fitting it is, then one should shiver at the very notion of it: There are lots of things that people want to say, but they are unable to find the right words for it.

For starters, it is unbelievable to see people pitching their forks toward each other. I don’t understand why in the world can’t you work together towards a common and lofty goal. Seriously speaking, are you going to fight over a heap of rubble?

Can’t you just man up and make a compromise?

The other thing is that some people just have too much tunnel vision. If you think that deciding on a certain matter without properly consulting the parties involved would bear good results, then you’re in for a nasty surprise.

Obedience and cooperation can only be demanded up to a certain point. Don’t make those people alienated by the results of making unsound decisions.

If you think that you are happy with this state of things, then go ahead. But do not say that you were not warned beforehand.

I’ll leave it at that. Besides, I have better things to do on a Sunday other than talking about abstract stuff.

‘Nuff said.

Learning and Teaching

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It has been six months since I started teaching.

Along the way, I saw many things, experienced a lot of good things and experienced many downfalls.

I will not mince any words here: Teaching is one of the hardest challenges that I have to face in my life. At the same time, however, the profession has allowed me to have an accelerated course in life.

I know of the hard times that my good friends in the high school department are facing at the moment, so I must say that I am still really thankful and that I feel lucky that I am teaching in an elementary department. At the same time, I am also happy that I finally had the chance to teach at a Turkish-operated school. Well, time for some good old-fashioned teaching, you know?

Well, I think I had fun spending my time with students. I am not exactly that comfortable around people and I guess teaching has allowed me to meet many students, teachers and parents alike…and learn how to deal with people too!

Despite the fact that I am a teacher right now, I feel like I still need to learn a lot of things: From micromanagement to creation of lesson plans, the road is pretty long for the likes of me.

At times, I feel stressed out when I have to think that I have to do a certain lesson for that day…or in some cases, go to a certain class not once, not twice, but thrice in a single day.

The question is: Is there satisfaction in teaching?

The answer is yes. When you see at least one of your students learn a thing or two, then that’s the greatest gift that a new teacher can have. Or take the love of your students, for instance. If your students love you for your teaching (and a bit of personality as well), then I guess that erases most of the proverbial sweat and tears that comes with teaching.

They say that the first year of teaching is the hardest year, because it is the time for adjustment. I know that I can be better after this year, but I hope that I did not gave unnecessary headaches to my students especially those who are about to finish elementary school.

If I have a long-term dream in teaching, I would like to see my school become an English-writing powerhouse. Not just in campus journalism: I want to see my students write what they want to express, do it with decent English and be able to show their arguments clearly and creatively.

I want my students to learn the basics of advanced writing at a young age, not to see them featured in major publications (though that’s a major source of pride), but because I want them to be equipped with the skills that are needed to thrive in the 21st century.

Is that an easy aspiration? That’s no easy task, given that writing is one of the last things that are taught in the English language, along with listening.

But I’m willing to learn to do it.

I’m willing to give my 101%.

So that when the day I finally go to the place of my dreams, I can look back and confidently say:

“At least my students did something for themselves.”

Yes, it was one rocky and slippery path.

But the experience was worthwhile…and I hope that it continues to stay that way!

#fighting

On The Road: Writing for eSports

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As I write this blog post right now, I have spent 16 months writing for different eSports websites (particularly eSports by INQUIRER.Net) and I can that it was one hell of a roller-coaster ride.

I can still safely say that although I have done a good amount of things (basic comparison: my articles on computer games and culture have been read by tens of thousands of people from all over the world), I still have a lot to learn when it comes to write for news publications.

Meanwhile, my personal blog here averages somewhere between two to ten readers a day. (And for the record, a good part of those who go to this site recently also come from the eSports websites where I write for.)

Notwithstanding the comparison, I sincerely believe that I have became a better writer overall. I have also learned a lot of English and applied many writing tricks in the process. I must say that I am a much well-rounded scribe right now, than, say, back in 2013.

I really enjoy the job because it combines two of my passions in life: playing computer games (particularly first-person shooters) and writing all sorts of stuff. Besides, I get to meet lots of amazing people and hey, who does not want someone who knows a particular game well?

It is fun. It is hard to describe it in words, but the world of electronic sports looks like a magical place to be.

Besides, I learn a lot of things. Not just about the games that I play, but also on how to deal with people, whether personally or online. I also get to see new ways of writing, new things on social media and all sorts of other stuff that many can only dream of experiencing even once in their lives.

And yes, gala dinners and privileged information are also good bonuses, no?

Here’s the other side of the coin: Especially for Dota 2, it has been one hell of a learning curve for me. My editor keeps on reminding me not to do certain things and given the scatterbrained person that I am, well, I keep on doing those things.

On another note, I realize that I must improve my overall level of English if I want to be able to do things in a better way.

Sometimes, time management is not easy. You have to think of ways on how to become a better teacher…(yes, that’s my day job and I worry how to teach elements of literature to middle schoolers) while at the same time trying not to forget that you are a writer at heart.

Combine that with the days where you are stressed and here’s the result: It becomes really hard at times.

Do I stop? No.

Do I give up? Not at all.

I try to write for an hour or two (or in the worst case scenario, catch up on the latest news for a similar amount of time) because I know that I should find a way to keep my mind active so that I can write…decently.

Besides, why throw the towel when you know that you have a bright future in it? And it is not just a personal belief; it is a fact that lots of investors and companies have started to put money into the electronic sports sector.

Sometimes, people say the following things to me:

“Hey Earl, why the heck do you waste your talent in eSports?”

“Yo, why not try to write something else useful, or beneficial to society, such as economics, politics, etc.”

To be honest, I think about those things at times.

But when I see that I am able to help make a difference in my own little way, I shrug these thoughts away from my mind.

And I know that I’ll be able to ride on the waves one day and see the total acceptance of competitive computer gaming into mainstream society.

For now, I’ll just sit back, enjoy my cup of calamansi juice and enjoy doing my stuff.


Here are some of my best articles on computer games:

Esports is now a major subject in Norway

Philippine FPS team gets third in international tournament

Fnatic: The Strongest Team in CS: GO history

Enjoy reading!

 

Alumnigate: #changeiscoming: FTTS 2015

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If you think that it is going to be juicy with loads of gossip, then you’d better read the Bandera for that. If you think that it’s just going to be a dry summary of the events of the FTTS 2015 Alumni Homecoming night, then you can go back and play Dota 2 or some other game of your choice.

This is neither for the faint-hearted nor the narrow-eyed.

All opinions presented here are nothing but my OWN.


It is a fine evening, with the stars shining brightly like multi-colored LED bulbs and the full moon sending its warm and mysterious greetings from above.

Loads of people are coming into a well-decorated room, with plates and chairs at the ready, as if beckoning them towards the warm hearth of a home.

The stage was ready.

The night was up.

It was the FTTS 2015 Alumni Homecoming night.

I was happy that the social hall filled up with alumni from different batches. Even though some faces were missing, at least the ambiance and the atmosphere was positive. The food was quite nice and personally, I really liked the time that I spent with the alumni on that fateful Sunday evening.

There was a speech by a former teacher, followed by a performance by some students and finally ending with the band and raffle portion. If I were to choose my favorite portion of the program, I would gladly choose the music portion…and I really hope that the band will come back next year.

From what I have seen during the homecoming program, everyone is expecting it to be better and bigger and brighter next year. After all, Toleranians have seen a glimpse of what can be done for 2016!

On a parting note, it is my opinion that some people refuse change (and stick to their old ways) and some people think differently…to the point that it does more harm instead of serving the greater good. I wonder if everyone would just try to find common ground so that every member of the Tolerance family would be able to see things improve by leaps and bounds.

Working together is not easy. Sacrifices should be made for everyone’s benefit…and of course, flowery words are not enough.

There must be concrete results!

Indeed, change is coming.

Yes, indeed.

And no one’s going to know what hit them!


Well, getting a glass set for winning a parlor game is not bad. Also, my thanks to the FTTS Alumni Association!

Until next time!

Photo from the FTTS Alumni Association FB page.

50 Shades of Eh Di Wow

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Well, everyone who is living here in the Philippines should have learned the expression “edi wow” by now.

Here’s a helpful explanation from Bogart the Explorer, a Filipino online personality:

Edi Wow -a sarcastic expression denoting surrender due to an extreme lack of mental capacity to properly engage in intelligent conversation.

Thus, me and my friends decided to create this list: There are many ways to use this word. Pick your poison and enjoy reading!😀

  1. Eh Di Wow

Used for everyday purposes.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na!

Used when someone is annoying you.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw ang Magaling!

Used when someone is boasting his/her intelligence.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na (ang) Mayaman!

Used when someone is flaunting his/her wealth.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Amaze to the Balls!

Used when expressing sarcasm.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Eh Di Kayo Na!

Used when a couple is too showy of their affections in public.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Eh Di Ikaw Na (ang) Hugot!

Used when someone is saying things related to love/relationships.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Eh Di Ikaw Na (ang) Maganda!

Used when someone is boasting about her beauty.

  1. Eh Di ang Galing Di Ba? Eh Di Wow!

Used when someone finishes something after a very long time.

  1. Eh Di ang Gago/Gaga Di Ba? Eh Di Wow!

Used when someone is acting stupid.

  1. Eh Di Wow! Eh Di Ikaw na ang Super English!

Used when someone is speaking horrible English.

  1. P***! Eh Di Wow!

Used when someone is extremely angry.

  1. Eh Di Wow! Eh Di Ikaw Na Ang May Sabit!

Used when referring to people who have glaring negative characteristics.

  1. Eh Di Wow! Eh Di Ikaw Na (ang) Puge!

Used when someone is boasting about his good looks.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Eh Di Ikaw Na ang Anghel!

Used when someone insists that he/she is innocent despite proofs to the contrary.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na (ang) Nagseselfie!

Used when someone is taking too much selfies to the point that it looks weird.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na (ang) Bida!

Used when someone acts as if he/she is a protagonist (i.e. main character in a film)

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na Lahat!

Used when someone acts in an irritating manner.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na May Instagram!

Used when someone excessively posts photos on Instagram.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Ikaw Na Famous!

Used when someone is acting like a celebrity.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Ikaw Na (ang) Pabebe!

Used when someone is trying to act like a cute person.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Ikaw Na (ang) Pacute!

Used when someone is acting cute towards his/her significant other.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Ikaw Na Si Prof!

Used when someone is acting smart and when someone is posting too much quotes on social media.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Ikaw Na Mabait!

Used when someone is acting like the hypocrite he/she is.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Ikaw Na Masaya!

Used when someone pretends to be happy.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Ikaw Na Dancer

Used when someone is acting like a dancer when in fact, he/she is not.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Ikaw Na Diva!

Used when someone is acting like he/she is a solo performer

  1. Eh Di Wow, Ikaw Na Bata!

Used when someone is acting lesser than his/her age.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Ikaw Na Genius!

Used when someone is a smarta**.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na, Eh Di…

Used when someone is talking too much.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na Malakas!

Used when someone acts like a sycophant.

  1. Walang Hiya Naman, Eh Di Wow!

Used in order to deflect disappointment.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na Crush Niya!

Used when someone is excessively flaunting about his/her crush in public.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na Matakaw!

Used when someone is eating too much.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na Nahihiya!

Used when someone is shy or when someone has been shamed in public.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na Star!

Used when someone boasts about having lots of friends in public.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Naseenzoned!

Used when someone is “seen-zoned” on FB Messenger, IM, WhatsApp, Viber, etc.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw na Sakitin!

Used when someone is always sick, causing problems to other people.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na Late!

Used when someone is always late for an appointment.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na Busy!

Used when someone is always busy to the point that he/she is unable to meet with his/her friends.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na Inspired!

Used when someone writes or draws too much.

  1. Eh Di…Wala Lang!

Used when someone does not deserve to be hit by a sarcastic remark.

  1. Eh Di Wow, Eh Di Ikaw Na Adik!

Used when someone always plays computer games.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Eh Di Ikaw Na (ang) Siga!

Used when someone boasts of his/her physical characteristics.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Eh Di Ikaw Na Varsity!

Used when someone boasts of being a varsity player.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Eh Di Ikaw Na Magaling Sa (insert name of language)

Used when someone boasts about knowing a foreign language.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Eh Di Ikaw Na Values!

Used when someone always talks about good morals that he/she doesn’t practice.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Eh Di (insert academic title)

Used when someone boasts of his/her awards during graduation.

  1. Eh Di Wow. Eh Di Lahat Na Lang!
  2. Tumahimik na nga kayo. Puro kayo EDI WOW dyan eh.

BONUS:

Amaze me? Amaze you! Amazeballs!😀

Thanks for reading!

Content by:

Earl Carlo Guevarra, with contributions from Kristian E. Moon and Sajid T. Musa