The Philippines has established itself as a competitive esports country, gaining multiple achievements in 2017.
2016 was supposed to be the best year for Philippine esports. It was the year the Philippines hosted high-profile events such as ESL One Manila and Major Manila. Local events were also rampant and refused to be outdone. In the same year, local esports teams received international success and went on to prove that Filipino esports players were a force to be reckoned with.
But just as we thought 2016 was going to take the crown for being the best year for esports, 2017 came and snatched it without hesitation. No one was able to predict just how good the year was going to be so we were all in for a very nice surprise.
In 2017, the local esports community made many great strides. And as much as we’d like to enumerate the community’s accomplishments, we can’t, for that is way too long a list. Instead, we have selected 3 of the best achievements the Philippine esports community obtained in 2017!
(Source: Esports Inquirer)
Due to the success the esports community had in the years prior, more and more are starting to recognize it as a legitimate form of competitive sport and entertainment. And the government was not one to ignore this.
In July 2017, the Gaming Amusement Boards (GAB) allowed local esports players to acquire their own athletic licenses. These licenses were on par with what other sports athletes had and made it easier for teams and players to secure their visas.
Aside from making it easier for players to obtain their visas, this also cemented the legitimacy of esports. The Philippine government has recognized that competing in this field requires just as much skill, dedication, persistence, and passion as in other traditional sports.
The Philippines continued to host and produce high-caliber esports events in 2017. It was not to be outdone by the previous one’s ESL One Manila and the Manila Major.
To kick off the year, the 5th Pinoy Gaming Festival was held in late April. Following this was the Manila Masters DOTA 2 tournament that was organized by Mineski Events Team, a local esports events powerhouse. Finally, in late October, the 3-day E-Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) was attended by many.
This summit is one of the biggest and most talked about annual gaming events in Southeast Asia. It aimed to showcase gaming titles, local gaming developers, cosplay competitions, esports competitions and practically anything and everything related to esports and technology.
Aside from these top-class events, there were other minor ones like Crossfire Stars and Smart MGL. Least to say that there was no shortage in esports events during the year 2017.
We can’t talk about esports achievements without mentioning any of the success the players had themselves.
In the International DOTA 2 Championship 2017, the Philippines established itself as a powerhouse in the esports industry, with various teams scoring respectable wins. Despite some teams being eliminated earlier than expected, they were nonetheless able to walk away with a large payout.
In the same event, Euneil Staz Javiñas—a member of team PH Alliance and a Philippine Hearthstone player—won the WESG Hearthstone World finals and made off with the $150,000 cash prize.
Mineski-DOTA also brought renewed pride to the Philippine DOTA scene by winning the PGL Open Burachrest and achieving a silver finish in the 3rd season of the StarLadder i-League Invitational.
Individual players such as Andreij “Doujin” Ablar and Alexandre “AK” Laverez also triumphed in their respective competitions. Doujin took the trophy for the International e-Sport Federation’s Tekken World Championship and was a 1st runner up in the Abuget Cup. AK, on the other hand, finished with as the 1st runner-up in the World Esports Games and Leagues (WEGL).
With the many accomplishments the Philippine esports industry has had, it makes one wonder where it all goes from here.
Will we see the trend continue? Will it be able to receive the same recognition as other traditional sports? Will the government offer more support to the players? Or is this the best it can get?
Well, we’re almost halfway through 2018 and it’s still a little too early to tell whether esports will continue to flourish or not. For now, all we can really do is enjoy the events and competitions being held at the moment and hope nothing but the best for our local esports scene.