Even in video games, reigning six-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo showed that he can keep up with some of the country's best.
In the charity showmatch Lockdown Games organized by the Philippine Collegiate Champions' League and Mineski, the Kraken-led Team Blue utterly dominated Marc Pingris and Team Red, 70-30. The match, which lasted 44 minutes and featured professional gamers, basketball players, and esports personalities, aimed to raise funds for the COVID-19 frontliners of the PGH Medical Foundation, Inc.
During the postgame interview, Kiefer Ravena of the NLEX Road Warriors described his Gilas and now Dota 2 teammate June Mar: “Magaling 'yung Jakiro na 'yun. Six-time MVP 'yung Jakiro na 'yun eh.”
Fajardo and Ravena's squad, which also had professional gamers Djardel "DJ" Mampusti of Fnatic and Armel "Armel" Tabios of TNC Predator, as well as WomboXcombo (WXC) broadcast manager Michael Angelo "Alo" Zomil, went with an all-around lineup of Jakiro, Dwarven Sniper, Death Prophe, Tiny, and Pudge.
Meanwhile, Ping's team, which included Japeth Aguilar of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, pro gamers Carlo "Kuku" Palad of GeekFam and Timothy "Tims" Randrup of TNC, and WXC founder Nico "KuyaNic" Nazario, opted for a core-heavy roster of Ursa, Furion, Bristleback, Legion Commander, and Chaos Knight.
It was all Team Blue from the outset; Alo's Pudge drew first blood at the expense of KuyaNic's Bristleback. June Mar went to work early with Jakiro and showcased his last-hitting skills even with Kiefer's Sniper on the same lane, while DJ (Death Prophet) didn't mess around at mid to give his group a 12-5 kill advantage after a clash around the 10-minute mark.
On the other hand, Tims (Chaos Knight) and Kuku (Legion Commander) had to carry their PBA teammates on their back, as the ballers were having a hard time earning gold. Ping's attempts at farming resulted in his Ursa getting picked off, and Japeth's Furion got stuck with a couple of Null Talismans. Team Blue's 33-10 lead 20 minutes into the game snowballed into 51-22 following another 10 minutes.
Despite Team Red finally winning a clash and Japeth's never-say-die moment (split-pushing and catching up in net worth), the level and objective gaps were too much to overcome. Team Blue spent the rest of the game trash-talking and toying with the opposing squad. As a consolation, Tims and Kuku hunted Kiefer and June Mar whenever they had the chance.
“Enjoy. Nakakatuwa kasi siyempre kaming mga PBA players, kumbaga hobby lang namin 'to (Dota 2), palipas oras," Ravena said of the charity showmatch. "Sila (pro gamers), eto 'yung talagang trabaho nila, and pinapanood lang namin sila sa online. Nakalaban na namin sila, iba pala talaga."
Kuku, for his part, returned the compliment and only had good words for their PBA foes: "May tira rin 'yung Jakiro (June Mar) at saka si Kiefer (Sniper). Parang praktisado rin eh. Nakita ko nagde-deward eh, marunong. At saka 'di siya namamatay. Hinahanap naming kaso ayaw magpahanap eh. May pwesto-pwesto rin."
By the end of the live stream, the Day 9 of the Lockdown Games had already raised P561,439 of the one million-peso goal.
Match starts at the 2:18:00 mark: