Today is Philippines Independence Day and to celebrate we’re taking a look at the greatest Filipino esports athletes of all time.

From classic PC strategy games to old-school fighting games, to newer mobile esports, the Philippines is home to many top-tier esports athletes.

But who are the country’s greatest esports athletes of all time?

Spawning from grassroots tournaments and grinding their way to the top, we think these five Filipino pros are the ones that have left the biggest mark on history.

Dota 2 – DJ

Dota 2, DJ, Fnatic
Credit: Dreamhack

Djardel Jicko B. “DJ” Mampusti’s claim to Philippine esports fame is his role as captain for FNATIC’s Dota 2 team. From his humble roots playing in computer shops in Marikina City, DJ has since become one of Philippine esports’ best players, with recognition worldwide.

He led FNATIC in numerous Dota 2 tournaments for many years, such as the Shanghai Major, the Manila Major, the ESL One Katowice, and The International. DJ has also invested in Filipino internet cafe franchise TheNet.Com, aka TNC, and had a brief stint with Execration’s Dota 2 team.

Starcraft II – EnDerr

StarCraft II, EnDerr
Credit: Liyab Esports

A mainstay in the Starcraft II competitive scene for over a decade, Caviar Napoleon “EnDerr” Marquises-Acampado’s name is almost synonymous with StarCraft in the Philippine esports scene. He’s won several championship titles for the Philippines, including the 2012 StarCraft II World Championship Series: SEA Nationals, the ESL ANZ Winter Cup, the WESG 2018 SEA Qualifier, and most recently, the Dreamhack StarCraft II Masters 2020 Winter: Oceania and Southeast Asia.

EnDerr is also the first StarCraft player to win a gold medal in an Olympic-level event, winning gold for the Philippines in the 2019 SEA Games, in the esports category. He’s still very active in the StarCraft II scene, playing under Liyab Esports.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang – Ribo

Ribo, Bren Esports
Credit: Bren Esports

CJ Ribo remains to the only Filipino esports pro player who has won the championship for a world competition (M2), a SEA Games gold medal, and two MPL championships. Not to mention, all the other tournaments he’s won, such as the Razer SEA Invitational, The Nationals, and the Challenger SEA Summit, among others.

The veteran Mobile Legends player has been in the professional scene since MPL Season 1, with all of his teams making it to the playoffs. He is also the only athlete to have played all five team roles professionally. Ribo shows no signs of slowing down under Bren Esports, who are currently competing in MPL PH Season 7. 

League of Legends – Xmithie 

League of Legends, Xmithie, NA LCS Spring 2018
Credit: LoL Esports

Filipino-American Jake Kevin Puchero, aka Xmithie, is a League of Legends player known for his time on Team Liquid, Counter Logic Gaming, and Immortals.

Known today as one of the top junglers of the League of Legends Championship Series, Xmithie first got into League in 2011. Grinding his way up from ranked games to small tournaments, to first breaking into the professional scene with mTw.NA. He won the 2015 NA LCS Summer Playoffs and the 2016 NA LCS Spring Playoffs under Counter Logic Gaming, and won the 2018 NA LCS Spring Playoffs with Team Liquid. He currently plays with Immortals.

Tekken 7 – AK

Tekken, AK, Tekken World Tour 2019
Credit: Liquipedia

Alexandre “AK” Laverez shot to fame after competing at the 2013 King of Iron Fist Global Championship at the age of 13, where he faced off against some of the world’s best Tekken 7 players.

The child prodigy has been playing at the highest level of competitive Tekken play since he was barely in his teens, earning podium finishes in worldwide events such as the SEA Major Singapore 2018, Evolution Championship Series Japan 2019, and the Tekken World Tour Finals 2019 LCQ.

He represented the Philippines at the 2019 SEA Games and won silver in the esports category for Tekken 7. AK will be back competing at The Nationals Season 3 under Laus Playbook Esports, while balancing his studies as a college student.

READ MORE: The Tekken Online Challenge returns with 14 regional stops and a dojo system