//E-sports
“It’s For The Community; We Can Be Celebrated”: Antianara on Winning the MDL PH Best Talent Award

“We Can Be Celebrated”: Antianara on Winning the MDL PH Best Talent Award

A year of hard work and dedication to their craft has led to this massive triumph.

Vincent “Antianara” Pajenago has only been with the MLBB Development League (MDL) for a year but he’s shown remarkable growth, as proven by him winning this season’s Best Talent Award. Truthfully, it was the furthest thing from his mind heading into the MDL playoffs.

“I had a maximum of 11 games to cast today so really my mindset was that I didn’t want to flub my last day,” said Antianara to the media. “I’m still happy kasi the past few months have been difficult for me as a graduating student, but in the end I felt that it was worth it.”

“It’s For The Community; We Can Be Celebrated”: Antianara on Winning the MDL PH Best Talent Award
Vincent “Antianara” Pajenago (left) with co-caster Rikaexa “Athena” Paloma (right) during the Road to MWI grand finals. (Photo from MOONTON Games)

Indeed, Antianara’s journey to winning the MDL Best Talent award was not a smooth one. When the league was looking for new talents he jumped in armed with only a deep knowledge and love for the game. His skills came from learning from his more experienced co-talents. Yet through all the negativity and bashing, Antianara had one goal in mind. “I got the chance to prove that gay people have a place within the community. More than anything else, that’s what I wanted to do since the beginning.”

“I remember being asked this question nung caster search pa lang: it’s going to be difficult for you, so why do you still want to be here?” continued Antianara. “Sabi ko: I expose myself to homophobia on a daily basis. So why not translate that to a wider platform where I can touch more people’s lives?”

The Tightrope Balance Between Esports and Studies 

As a scholar of the Ateneo de Manila University, Antianara admits that this year was the hardest he’s ever worked. When asked about what it takes to balance your studies with a career in esports, he said that “you need to have a kind of focus that comes from really wanting to achieve something… For me, I wanted to become a model person na walang masasabi ang ibang tao with the way I perform.”

“It’s For The Community; We Can Be Celebrated”: Antianara on Winning the MDL PH Best Talent Award
The MDL PH casting team. (Photo from MOONTON Games)

On further reflection, Antianara has always taken feedback to heart and this is what he feels sets him apart. “Ayaw ko na nagsta-stagnate ako as a person and how I perform.” For the MDL, he was starting from nothing so he had to work doubly hard to catch up to his peers. It might be for this reason that Antianara won the MDL Best Talent award as his improvement has been drastic.

His time in Ateneo really was fruitful as it helped shape his goal in esports. “Ateneo is a school that embraces me for who I am but sadly the outside world isn’t like that. Yung reality is that the world isn’t as accepting or as inclusive so I have to exert more effort when I go outside.” And in the end, Antianara was able to prove himself despite the odds.

Banner photo from MOONTON Games.


History Was Made: The MDL and Road to MWI Crown Their Champions

SILAB Talks About the Challenges Women Face in Esports

RRQ Kaito’s Ferdz Talks About What It Takes to Achieve the Perfect Season