The Nationals is currently in full swing in its 2021 season! The Philippines’ first franchise-based esports league has had some big changes come into its third year fueled by its visionary new development approach in its format resulting in the Academy, Challenger, and Draft series
The Nationals Challenger Series were two stand-alone weekend tournaments open to everyone in the country aimed to jump start the esports career of many aspiring hopefuls. The Nationals Academy Series was another stand-alone weekend tournament, geared specifically for student-gamers, where only teams and/or players currently enrolled in school can join. Finally, The Nationals Draft Series in 2021, was a combine-like tournament where the top teams and players in each of the previous series showcased their skills for spots in the top pro team scouts.
The result of the new initiative has brought forth a new and exciting dynamism and energy to the League and some new faces in new places trying to make their mark in the country’s most prestigious competition.
These new faces so far include newcomers Daniel “Kunicat” De Leon who plays for the Cignal Ultra Warriors; Lance “Sidesteplance” Yulo from Bren Epro, and Joachim “Gold_Standard” Fuentes drafted by STI elympians. Some familiar fighters are also spicing up the competition by playing for the a different team, this time around: Number one draft pick Mark Daniel “Machinehead” Eking has been fielded by Smart Omega; Jassen “JS5N” Capuyan has joined Laus-Playbook Esports; and Jim “Don Argus” Casimiro is now with the Happy Feet Emperors
The new series and the new talent on display isn’t the only exciting change-up to the league this season. There’s also a new format for the competition!
The restructured format will contain three stages: The Play Ins stage will be a single round-robin where the two lowest ranked players by the stage’s end will be eliminated. Afterwards, the Group Stage will commence which is another round robin with the remaining 10 players. Once again at its end, the two lowest ranked players will be eliminated. Then finally, the Playoffs Stage, similar to the previous playoffs, will be a proper Top 8, double elimination tournament where the Nationals Champion will be crowned.
The Group Stage starts this coming Sunday,May 23! Make sure you don’t miss any of the exciting action! Tune in to the GG Network Facebook Page and OneSports every Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 3PM, as well as on television on TV5 and Cignal, via One Sports and One Sports+.
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