How did esports become the National Pastime?
- Internet cafes are where esports started in the Philippines.
- Why internet cafes became the venue for the Philippines’ national pastime?
- A little bit of the history of internet cafes and why it became the number one choice for most people when they wanted to play esports games.
The Philippines, being a country that loves esports so much, wanted to prove to the world that it is a place where esports can take root on and grow tremendously – which what happened in 2016. Major gaming events such as ESL One Manila and the Manila Masters were both able to show and prove to the world that esports in the Philippines is real and is here to stay.
It was a long and difficult road before esports gaming events such as the ones that happened last 2016 brought world-renowned teams to our country. These events were attended and appreciated by the Philippine esports community. However, it’s important for us to understand how esports games became the national pastime for the Philippines and how it fueled the fires of passion and ardor from the community.
Much like how South Korea, the world-renowned esports country, had its start, Philippines’ esports scene started out within the confines of internet cafes. The existence of internet cafes in the country is numerous almost to the point of uncountable. Which made sense because of the interest of the Filipino people for computer games. This led to internet cafes being the sole cause of the DotA 2 and League of Legends community fever around the country. One of the primary reasons why internet cafes are such a hit for esports enthusiasts in the Philippines is the cheap price that they ask from their customers. Internet cafe enthusiasts primarily consisted of school children that usually spent their time after class in the internet cafes to play with their friends and test their skills against one another.
The tradition of playing online with your friends and testing your skills against random players that you do not know started all the way back in the DotA Allstars mod for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.
Additionally, another factor that attracted school children to internet cafes is the fact that they do not have to buy their own computer sets and the corresponding games because the internet cafe has done it for them. Additionally, the players can also play the game almost any time of the day because some internet cafes were open 24/7 for their customers. Over the years, esports eventually became the national pastime for young Filipinos.
Statistics conducted by Steam concluded that Filipinos almost comprised 10% of all the active DotA 2 users on the Steam platform. This number more or less amounts to 1 million users – which is, on average, 8% of Metro Manila’s total population.
As esports bloomed into the national pastime, more and more internet cafes were established, so it posed a problem to all cafe owners because they had to be considered as a cut above the rest. One of the most renowned internet cafes in the country today would be the Mineski brand. Not only do we make it a point to give our clients a total immersive gaming experience, but we are also in the forefront of elevating Philippine esports to the international level!