Host nation, the Philippines, dominated esports at the Southeast Asian Games, winning three of the six gold medals up for grabs.
The Philippines grabbed gold in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Dota 2, and Starcraft II (SC2). The Philippines also won silver and bronze medals in Tekken 7.
Thailand claimed two gold medals, winning Arena of Valor and Tekken 7, and two silver medals, in Dota 2 and Hearthstone.
Malaysia bagged the last gold medal for Hearthstone, and also won a bronze medal in MLBB.
Indonesia took home two silver medals, finishing as the runner-up in both MLBB and AoV.
Singapore grabbed silver in Starcraft 2, and a bronze in Hearthstone.
Vietnam took bronze medals in Dota 2, AoV, and Starcraft 2.
Here’s what happened in each gold medal game.
Dota 2: Philippines overcome Thailand in a 3-2 thriller
The Philippines and Thai Dota 2 National teams topped their respective groups on their way to a showdown for the title’s gold medal. The Philippines made short work of Vietnam in the Upper Bracket Finals of the playoffs to proceed to the Grand Finals, while Thailand had to battle their way there from the Lower Bracket, dispatching of Laos and Vietnam, respectively, in the process.
In the Grand Finals, both teams traded wins in a series of hard-fought matches on their way to a deciding game 5 for the gold medal. Thailand looked dominant early on and were poised to close the series out, but the Philippines were able to hold them off and mount an incredible comeback to claim the championship.
MLBB: Philippines defeat Indonesia, 3-2
The Group Stage of the MLBB event finished with Malaysia and Indonesia at the top of their groups, which set them up for an Upper Bracket Finals showdown for the first spot at the Grand Finals. Meanwhile, Vietnam and the Philippines finished second in their respective groups and had to duke it out in the Lower Bracket.
Indonesia decisively swept Malaysia to proceed to the Grand Finals, with the latter dropping down to the Lower Bracket Finals against the Philippines, still fresh off their own drubbing of Vietnam. The surging Philippine team then routed Malaysia, 2-0, to earn the right go up against Indonesia for the gold medal.
While the Philippines took the first match of the finals, Indonesia handily won the next two games to take a 2-1 series lead. The home team was able to rally in game 4 to force a decider, however, where they went on to decisively close the series out and claim another gold medal for the Philippines.
AoV: Thailand sweep Indonesia, 3-2
In the Group Stage of the AoV event, Vietnam topped Group A with Thailand coming in at second place. But in Group B, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Lao PDR all finished with the same record and were forced into tiebreakers, where Indonesia and Malaysia emerged victorious and secured their spots in the playoffs.
Indonesia outlasted Thailand in a thrilling 2-1 series victory to head to the Grand Finals, with the latter dropping down to the Lower Bracket Finals to face Vietnam — which defeated Malaysia in round one of the Lower Bracket. However, Thailand made short work of Vietnam to force a rematch against Indonesia for the gold medal.
Thailand came into the Grand Finals seemingly having flipped the switch, as they avenged their loss in the Upper Bracket Finals by sweeping Indonesia, 3-0, to claim the gold medal.
Tekken 7: Thailand’s Book defeats Philippines’ AK, 3-2
Both Thailand and the Philippines topped the Group Stage of the Tekken 7 event, with Nopparut “Book” Hempamorn and Rachawin “Shin Akuma” Tanasoontorngoon representing the former and Alexandre “AK” Laverez and Andreij “Doujin” Albar for the latter.
The first round of the Upper Bracket saw Book breezing past AK and Doujin shutting down Shin Akuma. Book went on to decisively defeat Doujin, 3-1, in the Upper Bracket Finals to secure the first spot in the Grand Finals.
Meanwhile, AK went on a rampage in the Lower Bracket, defeating Malaysia’s Zarif “ZABA” Aiman, Shin Akuma, and fellow countryman Doujin to force a rematch with Book for the gold medal.
AK opened the gold medal match strong by taking game one, but Book was able to shut down his momentum and take a 2-1 series advantage. The Filipino representative was able to rally in game four to force a decider, but he faltered just as his opponent put on a near-flawless performance in the final game to claim a second gold medal for Thailand.
Starcraft 2: EnDerr wins gold for the Philippines
The Philippines’ EnDerr and Vietnam’s MeoMaika topped the Group Stage of the SC2 event and were pit in the Winner’s Match of the Playoffs for the first spot at the Grand Finals, where EnDerr emerged victorious, 3-2.
MeoMaika then faced Singapore’s Blisk in the Lower Bracket Finals, who defeated representatives from the Philippines and Malaysia, as well as his Singaporean compatriot, on his way there. MeoMaika was unable to stop the surging Blisk, who went on to face EnDerr for the gold medal after a decisive 3-1 victory.
EnDerr was well-prepared for his opponent, however, as he blitzed to a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-seven finals. While Blisk was able to take game three of the series, he could not stop EnDerr from claiming the next two maps and the gold medal.
Hearthstone: Malaysia’s Weng Kean wins Malaysia’s sole esports gold medal
Malaysia’s Dr Yew “Wkyew” Weng Kean — an academician with a PhD in electronic engineering — had one of the more interesting stories in the SEA Games’ esports event, as the 29-year-old assistant professor became the unlikely Hearthstone champion over a host of younger players.
While Wkyew’s performance in the Group Stage was good enough for an Upper Bracket berth in the Playoffs, he was knocked down to the Lower Bracket in his opening match by Singapore’s Chew “Khaius” Khai Kiat.
The Malaysian then went on a run in the Lower Bracket, defeating representatives from Thailand and Vietnam before taking his revenge on Chew in the Lower Bracket Finals to get his shot at the gold medal against Thailand’s Werit “Disdai” Popan.
Having gained momentum from his Lower Bracket rampage, Wkyew decisively defeated Disdai in the grand finals, 3-1, to claim Malaysia’s lone gold medal in the SEA Games’ esports event.