The Road to The Nationals is set to be one of the biggest stepping stones for amateur players to reach their dreams of becoming professional esports players, with the finalists of the league becoming the initial pool of players that teams in next year’s The Nationals league will recruit from. And in the past month, after three qualifier legs, four teams have clinched their spots in the finals of the Road to The Nationals.
One of the finalists, Polar Ace, literally went the extra mile for their chance at the Road to The Nationals finals as the Manila-based team flew all the way to the qualifiers in Cebu City to try for a slot in the finals to be held at the Esports and Gaming Summit in October. Getting there, let alone deciding to go with no complete assurance that they would end up winning and qualifying, was most certainly not an easy task.
The team, consisting of free agents at the time, were only able to fly to Cebu after they secured a sponsorship with US-based Polar Ace Esports, who was looking to sponsor a Dota 2 team at the time. The last-minute deal, which was apparently secured through Discord, eventually paid off for both parties as the newly-founded Polar Ace Dota 2 team was able to win the qualifier and secure their spot in the finals of the Road to The Nationals tournament.
The same squad previously qualified for the PVP Esports Championship Philippine Qualifier Finals under a different team name, which is where the roster was originally formed. With their free agent status, the players decided to team up and join the PVP Esports Championship qualifier for fun but ended up winning unexpectedly, which prompted them to try and qualify for the Road to The Nationals through the Cebu qualifier as well.
The Polar Ace squad is composed of names that some may find familiar. The roster includes Kenneth “Flysolo” Coloma (Captain/Support), Kevin “Kevs” Edquilan (Mid), Frederick “Fred” Fernandez (Carry), Dave “WHPH” David (Offlane), and Justine “Flying Pig” Devilla Dela Cruz (Support). Flysolo, Kevz, WHPH, and Fred, were formerly part of Rave at varying points in time while Flying Pig was part of the Acion Arena Dota 2 squad back in 2016.
According to team captain Flysolo, their previous competitive experience gives them an advantage against the other teams in the league. He added that they didn’t really practice or plan for the Road to The Nationals qualifiers, but they just played their own style of Dota 2 while trusting in each other’s capabilities, which turned out to be a sound strategy given their win in the qualifier.
The team now waits for the last three qualifier legs to conclude before looking ahead to the Road to The Nationals finals itself at ESGS 2018 at the end of October. The last three qualifying legs will be held during the last two weekends of September and the first week of October in Bacolod, Iloilo City, and Cavite.
Editor’s Note: The Polar Ace squad has been picked up by TaskUs Titans and will be representing the latter for the Road to The Nationals finals.