(SDN) — AN employee of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has emerged champion in the NBA 2K19 Asia Tournament Finals.
Aminolah “Rial” Datu-Ramos Polog, Jr. defeated seven other players from Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines.
Each country has a two-member team. Polog, a millennial at 28, is now a two-time champion of the NBA 2K Asia finals, having won also in 2016.
His second victory gave him US$6,000 (around Php0.3 million) in prize money and a trophy. Perhaps, just as important, is that Polog also earned the right to compete in the NBA 2K19 Grand Finals in the United States. The winner of the finals stand to receive $1 million (over Php50 million).
NBA 2K19 Asia Tourney Finals champion PBE Rial. He also won the Asia edition in 2016.
Dr. Dimapuno A. Datu-Ramos, Jr., director of the Bureau of External Relations (NCMF-BER), narrated this in his Facebook update.
Datu-Ramos, an uncle of the NBA 2K19 Asian champion, said the eSports competition was held on Saturday, March 2, at Trinoma Activity Center, Quezon City, Metro Manila.
The champion, he said, “is the first Moro (Muslim) from the Philippines to win this title. His characteristic perseverance, intense training, and dedication have finally paid off.”
“Your NCMF-BER family is bursting with pride with your success,” Datu-Ramos said as he congratulated his nephew.
In a previous Facebook update, the NCMF-BER director and media head recalled that Polog started working at the NCMF-BER in 2010 as a job order/casual employee to support his studies.
Datu-Ramos said the Asian champion of NBA 2K19 is a “kindhearted brother who sometimes provides for the expenses of his younger siblings.”
Adept in computer systems, he always joins NBA 2K eSports, then started winning at the national level competitions. In 2014-2016 he represented the Philippines in the Asian League.
“The NBA 2K is an eSports league, meaning the games are all done via consoles (Play Station 4). They are video games, all done virtually,” NCMF-BER Director Datu-Ramos said.
“It is similar to Battlefield, Call of Duty, etc., only more interactive with other players worldwide.”
He said NBA 2K eSports is a multi-billion dollar industry, with worldwide drafting done to enlist the best video gamers.
Datu-Ramos said Polog (PBE Rial) is one of the top Asian players in the Playbook eSports, a United States company or eSports league, who were selected or drafted from 102 gamers all over the world.
Among the benefits that Polog received as member of the chosen elite players included a stay in the U.S. for six months with a salary of more than $30,000, plus housing benefits if he gets to the Top 17.
Polog and Philippe Alcaraz Herrero IV, the NBA 2K18 Asian Tournament champion, represented the Philippines in this year’s edition.
Meanwhile, in this year’s Southeast Asia (SEA) Games to be hosted by the Philippines, eSports will debut as a competition medal event.
It will have six games with the champions expected to receive the same government incentives granted to winners of the traditional or regular sports in SEA Games, among them basketball, boxing, track and field, etc.
The Games and Amusement Board (GAB) had also recognized eSports professionals as athletes since 2017, and granted license. (EKU)