Hometown heroes Sibol Dota 2 rallied to beat Thailand and win the Philippines' second esports gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Filoil Flying V Center on Monday night.
It took a grueling five games and the longest match of the finals (47 minutes) for the team of Martin Salvador "Boomy" Rushton, MC Nicholson "Mc" Villanueva, John Anthony "Natsumi" Vargas, Jun "Bok" Kanehara, Bryle Jacob "CML" Alvizo, Van Jerico "Van" Manalaysay, and James Erice "Erice" Guerra to reach the top of the podium.
The Filipinos drew first blood in the finals, thanks to the significant net worth lead of their Drow Ranger and Templar Assassin core. The opening match actually had a slow start, to the point that the first and only teamfight went down in the 30-minute mark. A triple kill in PH's favor broke the game open and GG was called shortly after.
Sibol looked like it was sustaining momentum with a couple of kills even before the second battle began. Unfortunately, this was the Pinoys' lone Game 2 highlight as Mirana and Viper conspired to give Thailand a 10-4 kill lead in eight minutes. The visitors had multiple team wipes to tie the best-of-five series at a match apiece.
The Thais stuck with their teamfight trio of Lich, Tidehunter, and Mirana in the tiebreaker, while the locals paired the trusty Drow with Puck. Legion Commander barely escaping death twice summed up PH's victory. Drow Ranger proved too much for the opposing squad, which surrendered after losing crucial clashes and the Aegis.
Sibol had a chance to clinch the gold medal in the fourth match, but blew the battle of hard carries. Thailand's Anti-Mage didn't need the late game, as it came out swinging with a mega kill and 5K net worth in 10 minutes. To no one's surprise, the hero snowballed into another kill streak and eventually the matchpoint.