What Philippine Esports Achieved in 2019
As the decade draws to a close, 2019 marked a memorable year for Philippine esports. It was a year characterized by a flourishing local scene, standout performances all over Southeast Asia, and a growing international reputation.
Bigger and Better Events
The Esports and Gaming Summit, arguably the country’s biggest esports convention, reached greater heights on its 6th year after recording over 42,000 attendees across 3 days of non-stop gaming festivities. Down south, Ilonggo pop culture convention CONQuest attracted 7,500 attendees from all over the Visayas, proving that the rest of the country’s esports culture is just as vibrant as the capital’s.
Multi-division organization Bren Esports made headlines by establishing the Philippines’ first full-service professional gaming facility. The two-story Bren Esports HQ caters to an array of video game needs and is the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia to date.
The country’s budding esports scene has piqued foreign interest as well, with NetEase holding the first official esports finale for Rules of Survival PC in Manila. Chinese organization LGD also announced that it will be fielding a SEA-based international squad with plans of developing a training facility in Pampanga and an esports arena in Cebu.
Conquering the Region
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang continued its meteoric rise in popularity among mobile gamers and Filipinos’ obsession with the game was aptly matched with an MLBB gold medal in the recently concluded Southeast Asian Games. The country hosted the first-ever esports event of the regional competition and the home team did not disappoint by bagging silver and bronze medals in Tekken 7 as well as striking gold in StarCraft II and Dota 2.
The Philippine League of Legends scene was put back on the map courtesy of Liyab dominating its regional opponents to win the SEA Invitational 2019. Despite falling short of the Philippine Pro Gaming League title last week, Liyab will once again represent the Philippines in the Pacific Championship Series next year.
Fans of the relatively more niche rhythm game community were greeted with good news ahead of Christmas thanks to an impressive display by the Philippine delegation in the BEMANI Esports Championship. Jubeat champion R2ROKID9 will be flying to Japan to represent the country in the KONAMI Arcade Championship in 2020.
Having moved on from their underperforming TI9 display TNC Predator gave Pinoy Dota 2 fans something tangible to take pride in by winning back-to-back LANs. Their victory in ESL One Hamburg marked the first time a Southeast Asian team won an ESL event while their first-place finish in the MDL Chengdu Major earned them 4,850 DPC points, virtually cementing their spot in TI10.
The future stars of Pinoy esports made their international debut at the collegiate level in China. Our Lady of Fatima University’s Dota 2 team bagged the silver medal in the World University Cyber Games while Esports AcadArena Summer Nationals champions University of Santo Tomas finished 4th in the International Esports Festival League of Legends tournament.
After yet another year of sustained growth in the local scene coupled with increasing international success, the future is looking bright for Philippine esports.
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