LIKE any athlete, practice makes perfect for video gamer Wilmer ‘Ming’ Magno, whose skills in playing NBA 2K16 has opened doors he never imagined were there for him.
Magno was one of the two gamers who represented the country in the NBA 2K16 Asia Tournament last year after winning the Philippine qualifier. He got as far as the finals of the Asia Tournament, where he was bested by another Filipino in Aminolah Polong Jr.
The achievements of Polong and Magno no longer comes as a surprise for Magno, who said the knowledge of Filipinos in basketball has made them better players in video games.
“Kapag Pinoy, may play talaga,” said the 26-year-old Magno.
Magno shared he practiced no less than five hours a day in preparation for the Asia Tournament last year - a luxury he had since he owned a PS4 gaming café in West Rembo, Makati.
“’Yung ginagawa ko sa five hours, ‘yung mga customer, free na sila para makalaban ko,” said Magno, who shared he faces at least five players per day during those long hours of training.
Magno said he prefers playing against fellow gamers instead of competing against the computer.
“Mas challenging ‘yung iba-iba kalaban mo. Kapag computer kasi, naka-set na ‘yung depensa nila. Kapag may kalaban talaga, mas magagaling compared sa computer,” Magno said.
During the final round against Polong in Taipei, Magno admitted having goosebumps while playing before a big crowd. He lost, 51-40, after using the Oklahoma City Thunder against Polong’s Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Sobrang daming tao. Nung eliminations, nasa isang kwarto lang kami. Sa championship, mas maraming tao. Overcrowded na,” Magno recalled.
Magno now aspires to return as Filipino representative to the Asia Tournament for NBA 2K17, which was launched recently. But first, he will have to hurdle the qualifiers that will be held on October 15, 16, and 29.
“Start from zero. Sana makabalik para ako naman ‘yung mag-champion," said Magno. "Todo practice lang at wag lang maging confident.”