The Southeast Asian Underdogs: A Look into the Philippine Esports Industry
Despite having pulled off amazing victories, the Philippines is still regarded as an underdog country in the esports world.
What should you know about the Philippine esports industry?
- The Standing
- The Competition
- The Underdog Story
The Philippine esports industry has existed for around a decade now. The members of the country’s online gaming community have never failed to show up, always trying their best to qualify for international tournaments. Esports in the Philippines has always had a strong following and sooner or later, it will be one of the strongest in the Southeast Asian region, or maybe even the world.
The Philippine esports industry is bigger than ever with everything that has happened in the past few years. It has gotten a ton of recognition from both the local and foreign audiences. In 2016 alone, the esports industry in the Philippines generated a great deal of media presence.
The esports industry in the Philippines has also been legitimized thanks to the help of the Gaming and Amusements Board, which seeks to manage the state of esports in the Philippines. It is with their help that esports athletes are now recognized as national athletes, making them eligible for the athlete visas required to compete outside of the country.
However, even with the management and organization that would be provided by the GAB, it may prove hard for the esports industry to comply with most of its provisions because of its infancy. An example is the rule that everyone participating in an esports tournament with a prize pool of at least P10,000 should be licensed by GAB—anyone who isn’t licensed will not be allowed to join.
Since most of the participants are players who are in it to enjoy the game and see how they would fare against the best of the best, the cost for licensing and the many other provisions that are implemented may be considered a nuisance instead of support for the esports industry.
There is also the issue of the Philippines having one of the slowest average Internet speed in the world. Since most of the games are played online, the unstable connections have been a constant enemy of all those who play online games. In fact, the best players in the country would be able to say that they see the slow Internet connection as one of the opponents that they have to face when playing.
Despite these, however, the Philippines continues to spawn a large number of talented individuals in the esports industry. The Filipino people are very passionate and motivated with whatever they want to do. Experts in the industry go as far as to say that if the Philippines were to have better Internet connections, the esports teams that compete would definitely be able to go toe-to-toe with the best regions in the world.
The online games community in the Philippines has never had shortages of competent players and talented coaching staff. They are very optimistic in their views on how they fare against other countries as well. As mentioned above, the worst enemy of the Philippine esports industry is the abysmal Internet speed and overall connection that is readily available. When compared to other Southeast Asian countries that are active in the esports scene, the Internet speed in the Philippines is one of, if not the slowest, among them.
In particular, Korea, the original esports hub, has an amazing Internet connection service, allowing them to have extremely fast Internet speeds in most parts of the country. Singapore also has an extremely fast Internet speed that is provided to them at a much cheaper price as compared to that of the Philippines.
It is no secret that the Philippine esports industry is in a lower standard as compared to the other, more advanced countries such as the U.S., China, and Korea. To them, where esports have become openly accepted and part of popular culture, equipment and resources are readily available. In comparison, most of the esports enthusiasts in the Philippines have to make do with what’s available in the country.
The best part is that the Filipino esports athletes don’t mind these conditions in the country too much. Their passion and love for the game more than compensate for the lack of good equipment and fast Internet speeds.
In hindsight, you can say that even with these bad conditions, the Filipino esports industry continues to be one of the fastest growing across the world.
The Underdog Story
Despite the rapid growth of the Philippine esports industry, there are only a few instances where they have successfully brought a title back home to the Philippines. they have, however, stood under the spotlight thanks to some of the most amazing happenings that revolved around them.
A lot of Philippine esports teams would either be overshadowed by the other Southeast Asian teams or not talked about whatsoever. This is because most of the foreign teams don’t even recognize them as a legitimate threat. The recent The International tournaments saw multiple successes from different teams from the country who pulled off amazing and unexpected wins against heavy favorites, proving that the Filipino online gaming community is a force to be reckoned with.
It may be just one instance of being an underdog, but it may as well serve as a sign that the Philippines esports communities are there, patiently biding their time, waiting for the perfect opportunity to snag a title or two out of the hands of the more popular contenders.