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Sibol Invited Team Liquid ECHO Except Sanford. Here’s Why

Sibol, the national team for various esports titles, has banned Sanford.

During KarlTzy’s livestream on Youtube on June 4, 2024, he revealed Sanford was banned this year from Sibol, the national team that represents the country in international tournaments for esports.

“Wala kami sa Sibol guys kasi na-ban si Ford,” said KarlTzy.
“Na-ban si Ford guys kaya hindi na kami natuloy. Hindi dahil sa age. Na-ban siya kasi tinanggihan niya yung last offer sa kanya. Diba nanalo yung Bren sa Sibol, sa IESF? Siya kasi dapat yung EXP doon,” KarlTzy added.

In 2023, Sanford was invited by Sibol to participate in the national team alongside players from AP BREN to represent the country in the IESF. He declined, citing logistical reasons and ongoing tournaments.

ALL-STAR reached out to Sibol general manager Jab Escutin to clarify why Sanford was banned.

According to Escutin, athletes voluntarily signing up and competing in the qualifiers are informed that they are participating as individuals and may be asked to serve their country as part of a national team whose roster is determined by the game’s head coach through the combine phase of a qualifier.

“Athletes who are unable to commit to finishing the qualifiers and fully participate in the selection process and ultimately serve their country when selected for whatever reason are advised to not participate in the voluntary qualifiers as this will waste time and resources of the National Qualifiers and may hinder opportunities for other aspiring athletes,” Escutin told ALL-STAR.

“Sanford Vinuya denied the privilege to serve his country solely based on the reason that his entire team (which lost the qualifier) was not selected to represent the country, saying that it will affect his team’s performance in the upcoming tournaments. We strongly advise individual athletes not to participate in the qualifiers if they only plan to serve their country if things go their way or have special conditions that hinders the opportunity of others to participate and serve the country. Because of that, yes, Sanford Vinuya is banned from participating in any Sibol activities,” Escutin added.

Sibol: Team Liquid ECHO was invited except Sanford

The Sibol Qualifiers is a voluntary selection process where individual athletes aspiring to represent the Philippines in any of the PESO (Philippine Esports Organization) Sanctioned Global events participate and have their skills tested to be selected as part of the National Team.

But people are asking why there is a need to select players coming from different teams when Sibol can just select the winning team in official leagues sanctioned by the game, or in Sanford’s case, MPL Philippines. Team Liquid ECHO, after all, is the MPL-PH Season 13 champions, soundly defeating Falcons AP BREN 4-0 in a best-of-seven series during the grand finals held on the last week of May.

According to Escutin, Team Liquid ECHO was invited but not Sanford.

“Sibol graciously invited Team Liquid Echo to participate in this year’s Sibol Qualifiers with the exception of Sanford Vinuya. I commend them for properly declining the invitation as they cannot commit to finishing the qualifiers and commit to individually serving the country if any of their players are selected,” Escutin told ALL-STAR.

As for the Sibol combine and qualifiers, Escutin explained why these are necessary.

“The combine phase of the qualifiers provides opportunities for individual athletes to interact with their peers. That makes a world of difference for amateur teams that are aspiring to be recognized by the pros they idolize. A good example right now is the current combine we’re having for the MLBB Men’s team as 2 non-MPL Teams have qualified for the combine. That’s why it is also very important for us that all athletes that voluntarily join the qualifiers need to commit to finishing the qualifiers because it may hinder other teams from having an engaging experience in the combine,” said Escutin.

As regards the selection process, everything is given to the Sibol head coach for a specific game.

“The combine gives the Head Coach of the game an option to choose other players if he feels that he has more competitive advantage by choosing another player to join or replace his roster. It is an option and not compulsary. Immediately choosing an entire does not provide any room for improvement for the head coach if he or she needs it. I’d rather give the head coaches more options if they need it rather than immediately locking out any room for improvements that he/she may need, which is ultimately their’s to determine,” said Escutin.

Sanford is banned from any Sibol event starting from February 2023 to February 28, 2025.

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