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    PeSO explains why Sibol won't allow minors in upcoming SEA Games

    Dec 30, 2021

    WHEN national esports team Sibol announced that they were looking for Filipino representatives for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, rival MOBA League of Legends: Wild Rift, and FPS game CrossFire, some members from the esports community were wondering why minors aren’t allowed to join.

    Compare this to the previous SEA Games, where even then 15-year-old Karl "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno was able to score a gold medal for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

    Secretary General and Executive Director of the Philippine Esports Organization (PeSO), Joebert Yu, addressed that issue in statement on his personal Facebook page.

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    “Sometimes I love to answer these kind of statements....so allow me to explain (and for those people who have pm-ed me about this)," he began.

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    “When we were the host of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2019, we were given the choice to set any (fair) rules not related to the game aspect and that includes the age restriction. So we set the age restriction to 12.”

    He then proceeded to explain that the main reason why minors like Kiel “OHEB” Soriano, Duane “Kelra” Pillas, and Kairi “Kairi” Rayosdelsol aren’t available for the SEA Games.

    “Now given the same choice as the next host country, Vietnam set their age restriction to 18," he went on.

    Yu even hinted that the Philippine Esports Organization tried to appeal for rule changes, but nevertheless they respect the final decision from Vietnam’s esports body.

    “So, as the foreign country now, we can try to appeal but ultimately, we will abide and follow the rules set by the host country.”

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    The host country has traditionally been afforded plenty of leeway in the Southeast Asian Games, including the final roster of sports to be included.

    No shenanigans in previous SEAG, says Yu

    He clarified that in 2019, there were no internal shenanigans that took place, when the Philippines was heading the esports scene in the SEA Games.

    “So, there was no 'hocus pocus', 'backend dealings', or 'workaround' in 2019 as some people might have assumed.”

    By the end of his statement, he said that the Philippines will just have to do their best with the current situation.

    “And now, regards to some players who will be ineligible to compete at these national events, we just have to deal with the 'cards we've been dealt with' and always try to find a way to win 'by the book!'”

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