In any competitive environment, losing is always a crushing experience. In the world of professional video game tournament where the worse injury you could possibly incur are sore carpal tunnels and eyestrain, no other blow could be more concrete than a virtual defeat. At the World Cyber Games last few years, the Philippine team went home wrist-injury free but empty handed. For sure, the boys have put up a good fight in Starcraft, Counterstrike, and Warcraft III despite being challenged by superior foes. For us, they were the best, and when they fought with the best, their best, unfortunately, wasn’t enough. Judging from the performance of the Philippine team last year in a video game competition that’s international scope, there’s a serious need for the country to use a common gaming terminology to strategize if we were to come anywhere close to impressive wins of Germany, Taipei and Korea. To those uninitiated with the complexities of cyber athletics, it should be easier for the Philippines to train world class cyber athletes than to develop a stable of real-world Olympians. Give them game-ready computers and consoles and they’re good to go. Of course, this is almost like saying that making the next five time champion Manny Pacquaio is as easy as handing out pairs of Everlasts to eager young whelps with an appetite for pugilism. Developing a world-class Pinoy cyber athlete takes more than that; perhaps it should be done in same way how sports heroes are made. Despite the prevalence of computers, the concept of a pro video gamer is relatively new, if not totally unheard of, to most Filipinos, especially the older generation who view gaming as merely a form of electronic entertainment. Much like real athletes in training, the best players in the world have been known to practice anywhere from eight to ten hours a day playing against other elite players on the other side of the globe. It’s also highly unlikely for anyone one to find someone like a professional video game coach. Most gamers have found that squaring off against the best online opponents and learning from them is still the best way to enhance one’s skills whether it’s a first-person shooter or a real-time strategy game. For the country to garner medals in international event such as the WCG, players definitely need a lot of support. Notable steps in the right direction include the Philippine government’s recognition of these cyber athletes as well as financial support from multinationals like Samsung. So when will we get to see the next Manny Pacquaio of video games? Realistically speaking, it should be in a few years time, although we all wish the next video game champs would arrive with an imperceptible lag and sooner than what all of us think. After all, they still have a lot of fighting to do.