At 8 AM in the Laoag City Hall, the auditorium was getting filled with more and more boys. I didn’t see any girls except for the guest speaker who was seated right next to me. What was I doing in a DotA tournament? No one at home plays DotA, so I went to see why the online battle is getting to be the archenemy of a lot of parents and girlfriends.
In her message, 22 year-old Mikee Fariñas (the President of the Association of Barangay Captains and the youngest member the city council has ever had) said that DotA is “not intended for pastime only, but a test of the agility of the mind.”
I went around the hall. I asked one gamer, what is it about DotA that he likes? “It is a game of strategy and teamwork.”
I asked 13 year-old Alvin Daquioag if his parents knew he was a challenger in the Laoag City Cyber League. “Yes,” he said. But he also said, he plays on his laptop only after school for about two hours as a break before making his homework assignment.
Ronel Razon, an Information Technology student spends more time on the net than Alvin, four hours of DotA in the morning before going to school. “It’s basically a good balance of both,” he said.
I went back to the hall four times within a span of 13 hours and no two teams yet were in the final defense.
The first ever live DotA tournament in these parts, the Laoag City Cyber League DotA 2 Season One, was hosted by the Laoag City Hall IT division, headed by Mr. Franz Felipe.
Marc Nicolas, head of the organizing committee shared that the coveted shield was made by tattoo artist Janer Santos and Alfredo Ronquillo of San Nicolas.
At city level (for the fiesta), it was quite an exhausting battle of battles. The brownout was causing some delays. By 9 PM, the room was half-filled. I didn’t get to see who among the 44 participating teams was handed the Aegis shield.
If there is something I earned at the DotA challenge, it is the first-hand view into DotA — that it is a better way of spending time on the net than, say, stalking, bullying other netizens or simply slacking. But just like any other thing in life, too much of it is trouble.
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