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Clutch Clutch Gamers

PH Defender: February 16, 2017

Maouie Reyes

PH Defenders is an article series presented by Mineski.net that looks to focus on some of the best Pinoy Dota performances for each day we get to cheer #LabanPinas.

ICYMI: Santino's Puck for PH Defender

This new generation of Filipino Overseas Gamers are showing some clutch factor.

The Malaysia-based, all Filipino squad of Clutch Gamers was the child of the Kiev Major roster lock up. A re-branded Power Gaming, the team was consisted of high-skill, high-potential players from lower-tier Filipino teams like Acion Arena-Dota and Rave.

Armel Paul ’Armel’ Tabios, Avelino ’Ab1ing’ Parungao III, Rafael ’Rapy’ Palo, Kenneth ’FlySolo’ Coloma, and the returning Arcanys legend and Cebuano pride, Marvin ’Boombacs’ Rushton joined forces for the first time in pursuit to be a competitive SEA team.

Their debut tournament before finally settling into their boot camp in Malaysia was already outstanding. They managed a silver finish for Pro Dota Cup SEA #4, after getting swept by Mineski-Dota in the grand finals, 3-0.

During the PDC SEA #4, only three out five players are staying in their gaming house and they still reached the finals, nevertheless. Now that they’re on to their next tournament with all of their players in one house, things are, so far, clutch for Clutch Gamers.

Clutch Gamers currently holds the top spot in Infinite Sky League 2017, a 16-team Southeast Asian tournament with a prize pool of $25,000. After three series, they are still yet to drop a single game, and are undefeated at 3-0.

If there was a match that can epitomize the prowess of Clutch Gamers as an up and coming top tier SEAn team, it would be the one against Indonesia’s EVOS Esports, last February 10, 2017. Clutch Gamers showed their flexibility in terms of handling games. They can sustain long and slow games which can reach up to an hour, or even demolish their opponents with a fast and short 20-minute game.

Infinite Sky League || Evos vs CG || Game 2

© Aoki Fly

The carry tandem of Ab1ng and Armel has also been lethal. In their second game against EVOS, Clutch Gamers closed out the almost 24-minute game with the two carries being deathless. Armel on his Alchemist posted a 10/0/8 score line with a game-high 26.7k net worth, while Ab1ng ended with a god-like Wraith King performance having a 9/0/12 KDA-ratio.

The Double A domination doesn’t stop there, however. Clutch Gamers was also able to beat the current best Filipino team, TNC Pro Team, 2-0, with Armel and Ab1ng stepping up their games. They were able to shut down two of the most prominent carries in the world—Raven, considered as the most consistent Hard Carry, and Kuku.

However, despite the commendable impact brought by the two carries to CG’s current success, it's their captain FlySolo, who will be awarded with the Philippine Defender title.

Before the formation of CG, FlySolo has, slowly but surely, been making a mark as a potential top tier Filipino captain. He was the type of captain which can match, or even surpass, the feats and achievements of Execration’s Kimuel ‘Kimo’ Rodis or now Happy Feet’s Nico ’eyyou’ Barcelon.

Most of the players from Clutch Gamers were considered rather underrated during their stints at their past teams. This was why this much-needed break, in a form of being the next generation of Overseas Filipino Gamers, does not only benefit the players, but also the Philippine esports scene at large.

It would be an amazing sight to see how the development of FlySolo as a captain will allow him to lead his team across international tournaments, bearing the Philippine flag alongside TNC Pro Team, Mineski-Dota, Execration, and even Happy Feet.

Speaking of the Penguins, Happy Feet, another Philippine team on the rise, also ties Clutch Gamers with the same 3-0 record. However, what made Clutch Gamers better than Happy Feet this time is the total number of games played.

The Penguins, although undefeated too, played eight games, compared to CG’s six. While CG was able to take down Indonesia’s EVOS Esports, Thailand’s Trust and Philippine’s TNC, Happy Feet, on the other hand, outplayed two The International 6 competitors, Malaysia’s WarriorsGaming.Unity and PH’s Execration, including Indonesia’s Rex Regum QEON.

Benhur 'Benhur' Lawis has been doing an incredible job in the midlane for the Penguins. Their close, 50-minute match against RRQ saw Ben carrying his team to the W with a 29/4/13 Puck. Even with their loss in the series, Ben still managed to outplay his mid counterpart, RRQ's Yabyooo who was playing Magnus against his 11/2/7 Outworld Devourer.

Meanwhile, the Philippines' Big 3 sport the same 2-1 record but it was Mineski-Dota who leads them with fewer games played. Also, Execration and TNC were both swept to a 0-2 loss by Happy Feet and Clutch Gamers, respectively, while Mineski-Dota's loss to Vietnam's Next Generation was at 1-2.

Being able to win over local teams who already have an experience playing internationally gears Happy Feet and Clutch Gamers for the bigger stage. We can expect a lot from both teams given their current performances. We might even wake up someday with the Big 3 being replaced with the Fantastic Five.

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