Viridis Arcus: A hallmark of collegiate esports excellence

Viridis Arcus: two words that are synonymous with greatness in the local esports scene. The organization has piled championship after championship across multiple esports titles.

Viridis Arcus (VA): two words that are synonymous with greatness in the local collegiate esports scene. In recent memory, the organization has piled championship after championship across multiple esports titles. One of these teams is the VA Valorant team, who, along with the Call of Duty: Mobile team, added another trophy to their collection. Now with four major event wins under their belt, VA Valorant is set on continuing their dominance.

The team captain and in-game leader of the squad Xavier “Xavi8k” Juan, shares that the team came about after seeing that his brother and childhood friends were competing for Ateneo de Manila University’s (ADMU) Valorant team in AcadArena’s collegiate tournaments. Having achieved the rank of Radiant, he was inspired to take his ranked play prowess to the next level and compete. With the help of the then-manager of the ADMU’s Loyola Gaming (LG), it was made known to DLSU’s Viridis Arcus gaming organization that a high-ranked player wanted to compete in the collegiate scene.

In 2020, Juan joined up-and-coming Lasallian talents, such as Ron “Grossof” Rieta, to build a team that would turn heads in the collegiate scene.

Dark Horses

As one of the younger teams in the esports scene, VA started out as heavy underdogs behind the two reigning teams, Ateneo de Manila University’s Loyola Gaming and Malayan Colleges Warlocks, who were locked in a heated rivalry for the number one spot at the time. However, those teams were not able to continue their rivalry peacefully, as DLSU ultimately burst onto the scene, besting Malayan Colleges to take their spot against ADMU in the finals. “We were very heavy underdogs. Out of 11 casters, I think only two voted for us,” Juan recalls. VA then proceeded to shock everyone as they upset the top-ranked Ateneo team 3-0 and started a dominant reign in which they won three straight championships. “After that win, everyone started to respect us,” Juan remarked.

With such a successful run to the top, one would naturally assume that VA employs a rigorous training regimen among its players, but Juan reveals that that is not the case. “[In the] first season, banat sa practice. But now, everyone is so busy that we don’t do scrimmages every day,” the team captain states. Instead, chemistry and trust between teammates are what he divulges to be their best weapons in dismantling the competition. “There’s a level of respect, and parang barkada lang kami, that’s how we maintain our chemistry,” Juan adds.

VA’s history of dominance in the collegiate esports scene did not go unrecognized, as the team’s fanbase continues to grow with each win. Besides the organization’s consistent excellence, VA team member Derrick Ong also credits social media for the team’s rise in popularity, saying, “Now we have social media and streaming so students can watch us play, and we did a photoshoot recently for Archers Network. It’s just a bonus that we win so much.” 

Behind the arena

While the level of popularity currently does not compare to that of other established collegiate sports like basketball and volleyball, esports continues to grow and prove itself as a premiere sport here in the country—and VA truly grows with it. To win a championship is one thing, but to continue hitting hard and staying competitive against talented collegiate teams is no easy feat. But what the organization proves year after year is that they truly thrive in the spotlight—beaming with four championships and counting. 

As VA makes moves toward becoming a legitimate organization, their secondary team did just enough to sustain what is supposed to be: a stepping stone for fresh talents to transition into the collegiate scene. As team captain, Juan reiterates what he told the squad “I told team B na you guys have to manage yourselves.” But as a true leader of the pack, he has his hands full, calling the shots for the first and second units. 

More than a game

As time goes on, the team must also watch its players graduate and leave the sport. The challenge now falls on their successors to maintain and further push the heights that their organization has reached. But Ong assures the fans that “there’s still going to be the three of us at the core.” When the time comes to pass the torch, he knows that he will still be in it for the long haul—coaching and helping the team go beyond what their squad has accomplished and take the organization to even greater heights.

While the esports scene continues to become an established industry that can become one’s main source of livelihood, the future is definitely bright for our homegrown aspirants. Ong was certain that there was plenty of room to grow in the esports scene as “it is not yet at its fullest potential.” With Juan being a prime example, anyone who has the passion and determination for greatness can achieve this feat in the homeland. The dream that was once in the stars is now within arm’s reach, thanks to the Filipino esports players of today.

EDITOR’S NOTE: December 22, 2022
The current number of championships earned by Viridis Arcus has been updated.

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