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Revamped The Nationals begins new season March 20

A REVAMPED The Nationals begins its new season next week, promising exciting action and new offering for the local esports community.

Now in their third year, organizers of the Philippines’ first franchise-based esports league have moved to expand their tournament reach, including amateurs and students this time around apart from showcasing the country’s best professional esports athletes.

The Nationals hopes that by doing so it will open more opportunities for aspiring professional esports players.

In Season 3 of the league, which begins on March 20, it will be having two new tournament divisions for every conference for aspiring amateur esports players, namely, The Challenger Series and the Academy Series.

The Nationals Challenger Series will have two standalone weekend tournaments open to everyone in the country, regardless of age and gender. It will be done fully online so as to accommodate more hopefuls.

Student-gamers, meanwhile, are targeted for The Nationals Academy Series, another standalone weekend tournament where only teams and/or players currently enrolled in school can join.

The league said it will not be charging anything for sign-ups on these tournaments.

Also on tap in Season 3 is The Nationals Draft Series, where the top teams and players in the Challenger Series and the Academy Series will be featured.

While it is a tournament by itself, it serves more like a combine for the players to exhibit their skills and talent. It will be an opportunity for them to impress scouts, which may lead to a steady career in esports.

A draft will happen not long after the tournament. Only players 15 years old and above from the draft series are eligible. Each franchise will be required to pick at least one player, with the drafting order being determined by their finish from the previous conference.

Once a player is drafted and signed, they will become full-fledged team members of the franchise teams. With the league’s changes in the minimum number of games per player, any drafted player is guaranteed to see action in the upcoming Pro League.

“As we head over to our third season, we took a look at what we can improve for our players and our fans. We wanted to create a better player ecosystem, which is why we are changing our format into having an inclusive and full path to pro series. With whatever game we have, we are providing a clear opportunity to be a pro player,” said The Nationals Commissioner Ren Vitug of the changes they incorporated.

Meanwhile, The Nationals said that for its third season, the target for the three conferences are Tekken 7, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and DotA 2.

A fourth conference is also set to happen later this year, which can be a repeat of the year’s most successful conference or will feature a new game.

The Nationals Season 3 kicks off with the Tekken 7 Challenger Series on March 20. Registration for the tournament is now ongoing. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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