GameClub Philippines — the publisher for the number one First-Person Shooter (FPS) title in the world, CrossFire — has partnered with the Philippine eSports Organization (PeSO) to bring more FPS-inclined events to the Philippines in 2015.
The partnership will feature the inclusion of CrossFire as a competitive title for the eSports Festival 2015, which is an annual event that has been organized by PeSO since 2013. The festival attracts many eSports enthusiasts, cosplayer communities and big-business sponsors as the organization is closely associated with the International eSports Federation (IeSF), based in Korea.
Since 2007, GameClub has had a large player base nationwide with an estimated 25 million users registered in their various game titles. Their current flagship title, CrossFire, is currently enjoying some 40,000 concurrent users in the Philippines alone.
Globally, CrossFire has about 50 million active users. Peak concurrent users have reached over 4 million in 2014.
In an interview with Rene B. Parada, product manager for CrossFire Philippines, he says that the partnership was driven by a mutual desire with PeSO to bring competitive gaming to mainstream audiences.
“The shift of the PC online gaming in our country has led us to consider taking a bold and aggressive approach towards supporting the competitive gaming landscape,” Parada said. “Over the past 4 years, we have seen the growth of not just users or teams, but also the number of organizations, taking a huge leap to make a longtime hobby or pastime into something bigger. When Inquirer.net partnered with PeSO, it signaled an interest similar to how underground music rose to mainstream popularity before. We see PeSO as a potential launchpad to unite game titles (publishers), their gamers (communities), and the partners (distributors or gaming shops) through competitive gaming programs and content.”
With PeSO’s experience in organizing and broadcasting events aimed at a greater, online audience outside of the country, GameClub hopes to positively impact the gaming landscape by highlighting the local competitive talent in CrossFire.
To that end, GameClub will also look to provide tournament support for the Razer NeXT online amateur tournaments also produced and organized under PeSO.
Razer NeXT is currently on its second season, with popular Philippine Dota 2 teams such as Execration and Arcanys Gaming regularly competing in its online legs.
The partnership with PeSO will see CrossFire eventually added to the online tournament.
“We believe that by joining Razer NeXT, we can create an avenue to connect our competitive users from different parts of the country to engage in a more consistent form of regional competition. Fostering growth of competitive gaming in these regions without the logistical burden will actually pave way for more programs such as these,” said Parada.
The Philippines is traditionally known in gaming circles as a country that is devoted to the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre, of which Dota 2 and League of Legends are the most played computer games among the key gaming demographic.
Reviving the FPS field in the Philippines
Asked whether the partnership between GameClub and PeSO will see the FPS genre grow in the country, Parada said that he was optimistic that the country has the talent to compete and be recognized globally.
“I personally believe that FPS started the PC online gaming competitive scene,” Parada said. “As publisher of the No. 1 FPS game in the world, we have the privilege to do it again. We are committed to strengthening the reach and popularity of the game and take it to new heights in the competitive scene. Last year’s 3rd Place Finish by the Philippine team, Macta Infirma, in the Crossfire Stars 2015 Grand Finals in Korea was just the start. We can only get bigger and be stronger.”
More than just added tournament and organizer support however, the partnership between GameClub and PeSO is a move to bolster the fledgling eSports industry in the country.
In the past, videogame publishers in the country preferred to organize tournaments and leagues in-house. But with the global boom of the eSports industry as a bonafide spectator sport, the scene has attracted the attention of large-scale investors and mainstream advertisers.
Among the largest and most profitable tournament scenes in eSports is the FPS genre.
Last December 2014, the CrossFire Stars World Finals was held in Nurikum Square, located in Sangam, Seoul. Fourteen teams qualified for the event that was held over three days in the Digital Media City. But in the Philippines, the FPS and tournament environment has fallen by the wayside as gamers in the country have flocked to MOBA titles.
With the partnership between PeSO and GameClub, players will be able to enjoy access to more events. The increased access could usher in an upswing for the genre.
The inclusion of CrossFire in the eSports Festival 2015 will allow fans of the shooter fare to enjoy direct support from an established videogame publisher and an experienced eSports tournament organizer. The result is a more vibrant and stable competitive outlet for enthusiasts, professional players and advertisers alike.
CrossFire is an online tactical FPS for the PC by South Korean developer SmileGate. The game is currently the largest and bestselling FPS title in China, where it is published and distributed by Tencent.
eSports by INQUIRER.net is a news and media website made in partnership by the Philippine eSports Organization and the Inquirer News Group.