THE second edition of the FIBA Esports Open unfurls later this week with a bigger field than its first staging earlier this year.
FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, announced that an expanded roster of 38 national teams is taking part this time around in the Open, from 17 previously, in tournaments taking place over three weekends with seven regional conferences.
Action kicks off from Nov. 14-15 in the Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia conferences, to be followed by that in Europe (Dec, 12-13), the North, Central, and South America conferences (Dec. 19-20).
Finals will take place in all conferences, with a best-of-three format.
For the tournament, each team will consist of seven players, five on the court and two reserves. Games will be played remotely on NBA 2K using the Pro-AM mode and allowing full customization of player avatars, uniforms and arena designs.
Team Philippines, or “E-Gilas,” was among the winners in the first edition of the FIBA Esports Open held in June, ruling the Southeast Asian conference by sweeping Indonesia in their five-game series.
E-Gilas, composed of Aljon “Shintarou” Gruzin (point guard), Rial “Rial” Polog Jr. (shooting guard), Custer “Aguila” Galas (small forward), Rocky “Rak” Brana (center/power forward), Philippe “Izzo” Alcaraz Herrero IV (center), Clark “Clark” Banzon (power forward), and Al “Alt” Timajo (center/power forward), capped its dominant performance in the tournament by beating its Indonesian counterpart, 71-35, in the fifth game of their joust.
The 36-point win took the Philippines’ average margin of victory to 32.8 points for the series.
Following its impressive showing, E-Gilas said “preparation and teamwork” played a key role in it.
In the second edition of the Esports Open, Australia is joining the Philippines and Indonesia in the combined Southeast Asia/Oceania group.
Other winners in the inaugural edition of the FIBA Esports Open were Italy (Europe Conference), Argentina (South America Conference), Saudi Arabia (Middle East Conference), and Australia (Oceania Conference).
As was the case in the first edition, the series will be produced from the FIBA Esports Studio in Riga, Latvia, with 54 hours of live content to be streamed on FIBA’s Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube channels. Each game will be available online with live commentary in English, as well as a daily show featuring up to 12 games.
The FIBA Esports Open 2020 is angled by the world basketbal governing body to add further dimension to it as an organization while also affording the basketball community some action after activities were halted by the coronavirus pandemic.
For more information on the tournament, check out http://www.fiba.basketball/esports/open2/2020. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo