It is not in my intention OR Team Cube's intention, to put down anyone in Team AZK. We just wish to let everyone know our side of the story.
It was a few months back when Team AZK held the PPSL Qualifiers. Four of our team mates, namely Cube.Dione, Cube.Rixilius, Cube.Salt and Cube.PayAso, secured their respective slots for the IPL 4 Qualifier that was to be held in Manila. They were promised by Team AZK to have their transportation expenses covered and that they didn't have to worry about spending for plane tickets. As the weeks went on, we were waiting on Gus "Witchdoc" Ledesma to confirm that our players' tickets have been secured, but each time they would tell us that they are working on it. As October came, we grew more and more concerned regarding the tickets because we knew that if the tickets were bought a few days before the departure date, prices would get really really high. Despite our concerns and worries, we were constantly assured by Gus that he would be able to come up with the tickets. So we kept our hopes up.
November came and our anxiety levels were at an all time high. We were beginning to think that we might have to secure money and the tickets on our own, but we didn't want to make hasty decisions without confirmation from Gus. One of my team mates constantly followed up regarding the tickets but was ignored. Only when he asked a question that had nothing to do with the plane tickets, did he get a response and comment.
November 4 and still no word. We then decided to come up with some amount as quickly as possible so that we can send our guys to Manila. We were able to get donations from generous team members but it wasn't enough, as the tickets to send 4 players and a manager to Manila amounted to 23k Php or $510.
One of our team mates received a call from Gus 2 days before the IPL 4 Qualifer day and told him that he was going to try and buy their tickets now. Our hopes got up, but we didn't receive any return call or message for the rest of the day.
November 6 dawned, and we received a message from one of the AZK members saying that he would be the one to buy our tickets and told us that we would need to wake up at 3am because the flight was going to be really early. We did as was told but still, no tickets.
Over all the experience was bad for us as well. We are a growing gaming team with high hopes and a long way to go, but this series of events has really impacted our morale as a team.
I would also like to express my side regarding the feed back on the Philippine eSports scene in numerous posts. Yes I have to agree that we are a 3rd World country and shady people are about. But not all of us are desperate for money and would do crazy things just to try and survive and make ends meat. A lot of people on my team would run a tournament, and HAVE ran tournaments without earning a single cent.
Learning from this experience, we also hope to grow as a team and do better when our time comes to hold big tournaments that involve international players. Lessons have definitely been learned, and we are aware of the intense criticism that comes after a failed event. We would also understand the hesitation of any international sponsors if we would approach them for any of our future events, and hope that they would give us a chance.
On a final note, I have huge hopes for the eSports scene in SEA and sincerely ask that everyone else in the SC2 Universe not to count us out. Being part of the SEA community and representing a small fraction of it, we hope that things will only get better for the future of eSports. On behalf of Team Cube, GL HF XOXO =)
Arthur James "Drjimmy" Malgapo
Team Cube Caster