eSports Diary: 9/5/2016

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Okay, it has been a very long time since I have written a blog post on any topic of my choice.

The thing is that I have been busy coming back for the last couple of months and lo and behold, we are back with a good team and I am proud to head some of the most talented minds in the Philippine CS community!

The come back is real, ladies and gents.

Of course, it means that one has to deal with all the skeletons in the closet – be it poaching, politics or just some plain interpersonal stuff.

But no amount of human intervention stops a protagonist from coming back. We have seen enough examples of that in literature.

I have never felt the satisfaction of being at the forefront of a worthy and lofty effort for a very long time now.

Well, the Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) is fast approaching. It would be the first true litmus test that will measure how far we have came.

Alright, let’s do this! Let’s rock the whole world, ladies and gents!

On Baggage

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Well, some people have trouble with some of my baggage.

If people don’t like you for things such as sense of humor or whatnot, then by all means continue being who you are.

It’s none of their freaking business and it does not cover the area in which you are supposed to show exemplary values anyway (i.e. universal values).

What if some people don’t like your snarky or sarcastic tendencies?

Fine.

Then that means they should get a life, because that means they are unable to keep up with you intellectually!

In this adult life, haters gonna hate and doubters gonna doubt anyway.

It is up to your to spit it back into their sorry faces.🙂

Snippets From a Noob Teacher

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It has been a long time since I have written my last blog post.

I am now teaching as an English teacher at a private elementary school for two years now and of course, teaching stuff is quite interesting!

Here are some of the odd moments that I’ve had as a teacher.

The difference between the first and second year of teaching:

First year: You are extremely happy when the government declares suspension of classes.
Second year: You are not anymore happy when it happens, knowing very well that you need to take care of your quizzes, pacing, etc.

First year: You are having a hard time keeping up with your lesson plans and other paperwork.
Second year: You are now focused on being the best teacher ever! LOLOLOLOLOL!

First year: You are not having it easy.
Second year: Take it easy. It won’t help you that you are being stressed about things. Anyways, you are able to control your classroom better, right?

On pens:

One of my students called me out for not having a whiteboard marker that worked. He said, “Teacher, go and fill that pen of yours up! I mean seriously!”

COMMENT: Guilty as charged.

Best advice for new millennial teachers out there:

Stop using Facebook during the breaks between your lessons. That will increase your bloody productivity by a lot.

I am having a hard time as a new teacher, while some seem to have easy.

Well, it is because they have been trained and drilled extensively! Don’t worry, you’ll reach their level too!

Other stuff?

Don’t worry and be happy!🙂

Like seriously, be happy with the things that you do in life.

Nothing good will come out of it, especially if you don’t like your job. You are simply wasting everyone’s time – no, your blood, sweat and tears in pursuing something that you cannot learn to love.

Aim high, fly straight and soar to the ends of the earth!

 

 

The eSports Diary: My thoughts on the best Filipino player

In an interview that I have done for eSports by INQUIRER.Net back in 2014, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the best eSports athletes that the Philippines has produced.

Elgee Gaboy used to play CrossFire for MSI-EvoGT until his retirement in the latter part of 2014. He is the undisputed top Filipino player across all eSports disciplines as he and his team lead the country to the podium for two consecutive years at the World Cyber Games (WCG), getting 3rd and 2nd place, respectively.

Not even the “golden age of Filipino Dota” back in 2013 can stop Elgee from taking the mantle of the best Filipino player. However, many contenders have emerged for the title since then, each of whom deserve to take the title for various reasons.

Here is my take on the matter:

2014: Christian “REVENGE” Amores

Many people expect me to list someone from the Dota 2 community, considering that Execration has done a good job at qualifying for StarLadder during the last quarter of 2016. However, the fact remains that no other Filipino, whether in a team or individual game, has achieved as much as Pacific.Macta did during that year.

A lot of people thought that Macta would not be able to survive beyond the group stages of that year’s CrossFire Stars, which is the premier competition in CrossFire that featured many of the best teams in the world. This is because they never had international experience; all of their players were considered rookies in top-tier CrossFire.

That is, until they shocked the Filipino eSports community by finishing third place and beating Europe’s PENTA Esports with a clean sweep of 2-0.

REVENGE played a huge part in getting his team to the podium, thanks to his phenomenal skills both as a sniper and as a pistol player for the team.

Thus, the title of the best Filipino player for 2014 goes to REVENGE, hands down.

 2015: Caviar Napoleon “EnDerr” Marquises-Acampado

Mineski has went to the Frankfurt Major and yes, got a placing that no one expected them to take. Sure, Pacific.Macta did the ultimate comeback from a wildcard slot to take third place for that year’s CrossFire Stars, allowing them to gain another podium sport for Philippine eSports. And yes, Pompi reached the semi-finals of the IeSF Hearthstone Tournament, which is in itself a historical moment for Philippine eSports.

However, the title of “player of the year” goes to EnDerr, who has tirelessly represented the Philippines in Starcraft 2, a title which offers no room for mistakes and punishes the tiniest miscalculations that a player can make.

Finishing third in the 7th eSports World Championships is no easy feat.

Keeping good form and decent results while going up against some of the best StarCraft 2 players in the world is an even harder feat.

And EnDerr has done both of them.

For the reason stated above, EnDerr is my pick for the best Filipino player in 2015.

Honorable Mentions:

Ryan “Bimbo” Jay Qui: Captain, prodigy and pub-wrecking player, who does not know this guy from Dota 2? What he only lacks is a podium placing at a major international Dota 2 tournament.

Our Hearthstone players: There are simply lots of them. Any of them win a top 8 placing in a big international tournament and they’ll take my spot this year unless a Dota 2/LoL/CS:GO team from the Philippines does the same.

Well, let’s see who will be the person that will lead us to the Promised Land of an eSports gold medal this year. Or at least, somewhere close to it…

 

Thankfully, one year of teaching’s over!

So I have finished a year of teaching, minus the things that I need to e-mail to my principal and whatnot.

Well, here’s a quick breakdown of what has happened during my one year of teaching:

  • I failed five students in my subjects.
  • I taught three subjects, namely, Reading, ESL and Values Education.
  • I’ve had a total of 50 students from Grades 4-6.
  • I was able to help start up our school paper.
  • I finished nine textbooks in one year.

It’s been a rough year. People say that the first year of teaching is always rough, so I hope that the succeeding years will be kind to me!

For the most part, I have enjoyed my maiden year of teaching, even though I wished that I had done some of my lessons better. But, you know,

The happiest portion of my teaching career thus far is seeing your students being able to learn something that they will carry for the rest of their lives. I hope that I will turn into a better teacher in the future.

I guess I have earned my vacation now. Hoping to travel around the country, see one or two places and have a good time with family and friends!

Alright! Rock and roll! Time to look forward to a new year of teaching…with optimism and a refreshed mind!

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.