Smart Omega, the professional esports team supported by Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), has announced the addition of Ezequiel “Spidey” Cauilan, winner of The Greatest Gamer (TGG) Philippines, to their roster for the upcoming Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) Season 12 in September.
The 17-year-old student from Cauayan City National High School, Isabela, is set to play the role of “jungler,” alongside Smart Omega’s power players, including Grant Duane “Kelra” Pillas, Joshua “Ch4knu” Mangilog, Patrick James “E2MAX” Caidic, Jomari ”Jowm” Pingol , Nowee ”Ryota.” Macasa, Andrew Lew “Andoryuuu” Flora, Carlito “Ribo” Ribo, and Ronel “Coach Strongerft” Tan at the much-anticipated tournament.
“Sobrang saya ko po na makakalaro agad ako sa MPL. Kinakabahan at excited po ako kasi makakalaban at makakasama ko na po ang mga idol ko tulad ni Ch4knu, (I am very happy to be part of MPL. I am both nervous and excited to compete with my idols like CH4knu),” said Spidey.
“We were impressed with what he showcased during his time at The Greatest Gamer Philippines. Adding him to our roster would bolster our campaign in the MPL Season 12,” said Coach Patrick “E2MAX” Caidic, Coach of Smart Omega Team.
“We believe he would be a good fit with our current roster, and we know that he will bring valuable contributions to the table,” said Coach Ron Tan, Coach of Smart Omega Team.
From TikTok to MPL
Before claiming victory as the champion of the inaugural The Greatest Gamer PH, Spidey used to actively compete in local esports tournaments in his province. The prize money he earned from these competitions served as his allowance, supporting his educational expenses.
While scanning his TikTok For You Page (FYP), he stumbled upon the auditions for The Greatest Gamer Philippines. Out of the 5,000 applicants, Spidey secured a spot in the Top 10 finalists.
“Di ko inakala na makakapasok ako sa Top 10. Yung makasama pa lang ako sa Top 10 ay sobrang laking achievement na sa akin, (I never expected to make it to the Top 10. Just being part of the Top 10 is already a huge achievement for me)” said Spidey, adding that his three-week stay at the TGG camp where finalists faced a series of challenges made him appreciate even more the importance of camaraderie with and trust in his teammates to succeed in every game.
A life-changing win
As TGG winner, Spidey took home a cash prize of Php 250,000 and a contract with Smart Omega, a turning point not just for him but also for his family.
With his earnings from his budding esports career, Spidey hopes to help his father, a tricycle driver, and his mother, a housemaid in Manila, support their family.
“Sumali rin ako to help my family. Maliit pa lang ako noon si Mama ay nagtratrabaho na sa Manila para ma-provide yung mga needs namin, Ganun din si Papa, since siya naman yung nakakasama namin sa bahay (I also joined so I can help my family. Ever since I was little, my mother had been working in Manila to provide for our needs. My father was the one who took care of us at home),” he added.
“Tumatanda na rin si Papa at Mama, kaya gusto ko ring maipaayos yung bahay namin para makapagpahinga din sila nang maayos since apat kaming natutulog sa isang kuwarto. Kaya ganun ako kapursigido manalo para matulungan yung pamilya ko at para matupad din yung pangarap ko maging professional player (My parents are getting older, so I want to renovate our home so they can live comfortably in it especially now that there’s four of us sleeping in one room. This is why I was so determined to win: to help my family and make my dream of becoming a professional player come true),” he added.
Spidey said he is set to train more and ramp up his hero pool in preparation for MPL. He also revealed that he is looking forward to playing against Irad of RSG Philippines.
“Excited po akong makalaban siya kasi nakakasama ko siya sa mga Ranked Games before (I am excited to play against him since I used to play Ranked Games before with him),” he added.
The Philippines’ fastest and best mobile network
As the longtime official telco partner of MLBB in the Philippines, Smart has cemented its position as a patron of esports and staunch supporter of Filipino esports athletes, fans, game publishers, and tournament organizers.
Filipino gamers can live more today and enjoy leveled-up gaming experiences powered by Smart, the Philippines’ Fastest and Best Mobile Network as cited by Ookla, the global leader in mobile and broadband network intelligence. Smart clinched this prestigious recognition for the third consecutive reporting period of Ookla – first in Q1-Q2 2022, then in Q3-Q4 2022, and most recently in Q1-Q2 2023.