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Next level: Viridis Arcus’ triumphant rise

DLSU’s Viridis Arcus’ (VA) climb to the top is now undeniable with their reign as back-to-back champions of the AcadArena University Alliance Cup. Sweeping the finals against the Ateneo LG Esports, 3-0, last June, the team cemented their legacy in the college ranks—their rising popularity paving the way for the squad to gain sponsors and its players to become widely recognized.

Leveling up at an unprecedented rate, Viridis Arcus has taken the world of esports by storm. Once considered only as a neophyte in the industry, the team from Taft has reached the competitive edge of tournaments together by capturing the clamor of avid followers and the glory of penultimate championships.

Breaking barriers and proving naysayers wrong, team captain Xavier “xavi8k” Juan gives an insight into their quick development and how they plan to move forward. Being fairly new to the scene, the team aims to continue to show that its members have as much unexpected talent to offer as any collegiate athlete. “We’re just not any regular college students. We can actually compete in the pro scene now,” he proclaims, and he is determined to prove it.

Setting the tone

A team’s bond on and off the arena can translate into advantageous chemistry during tournaments. Building trust and forming ease of communication show their familiarity with each other, which proves vital to their morale when things do not go as desired. For Juan, it is the sense of “family” that keeps them motivated during ups and downs. He shares, “The bond that VA has is really different. I don’t think any other team has that.” Having been playing for two seasons with different lineups, keeping the same mindset boosts their confidence. “What keeps us motivated is that we just really want to win because we’ve always been the underdogs,” he bares.

Asserting dominance into the main stage marks VA’s signature style, and for years, that has been the mantra that has driven the squad. “We showed it, and proved it to the college teams that we were still great when we won the championship,” Juan exclaims. 

Capping off a competition with the crown fuels the hunger of a team to achieve greater heights. Juan believes that his team has strong potential to fulfill their skills and accomplish domination. The team captain says, “What we are trying to show [is that] esports is not just about gaming, but there is way more to it.” Although he made a few changes in their roster for the upcoming seasons, Juan assures VA’s supporters that they will be playing with the same intensity and caliber. “With this new lineup, I am pretty sure we will do good again,” Juan avows. With the team expected to have four players with professional league experience, La Salle’s status in the gaming arena is sure to be elevated.

Next stop

With their continued winning spree, numerous opportunities to play professionally have been offered to the young unit. Different organizations have taken notice of their immediate turnaround from when they were formed last July 2020. But Juan bares that they are committed to representing DLSU first.

Juan, for one, continues to be called up into the big leagues, but that would mean leaving his home arena and the team he thrived with. The enduring bond the captain has with his team is worth more than any individual accolade. He shares, “I am already in it, too deep na I cannot just leave VA at this point.”

He has been making sure that the team continues to blossom, having been in constant talks with external organizations like AcadArena, a national campus esports program. Through this, he has garnered support for the team to boom beyond his handling in an effort to continue the legacy that VA has paved to evince again and again that they are a force to be reckoned with.

What the team has accomplished is way beyond compare, and as it deserves, DLSU has made an effort to recognize this next generation of e-sports athletes. But renown aside, what really keeps Juan going is having the team through it all, fighting against all odds. For him, everything will play all right if you “just believe in yourself and just keep practicing.”

His hopes are still set for the years to come. “In the future, I want college teams to be in the same level or…respected more in the pro scene,” he imparts.

By Joaquim Antonio Arquelada

By Jeremiah Dizon

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