How do you take the demon out of online gaming?
Just like billiards in the old days, online gaming has always been frowned upon by parents, blaming their children for skipping school—and meals.
Before it was recognized as a true-blue sport, billiard games were played in smoke-filled and often dimly hit halls.
But in this digital age, the youth have been transformed into digital warriors as they enter a new world of adventure in just one click.
In their world, they are the masters of their universe and heroes of their stories—for hours. Then, they easily get back to reality, again in just one click.
Welcome to the adventures of online gaming, now known as esports.
The country’s two telecom giants see a big, bright future for esports.
Esports was played for the first time in the Asian Games in Indonesia last year and will be played for the first time in the Southeast Asian Games, which the Philippines is hosting this year. The sport is also seeking a place in the Olympics.
Globe recently formed an alliance with internet network company, Mineski, to form Team Liyab, which emerged as the first champion of League of Legends and Arena of Valor events in the Philippine Pro Gaming League.
Winning cash prizes is becoming a norm in esports that some of the country’s players have become millionaires, especially after coming home from an international tournament.
Faces of esports
For esports to really reach its full potential and earn a better reputation, just like any other sport, it needs popular faces it can identified with.
Team Liyab’s Cara Cute is one of bright faces in the country’s esports scene, having competed in numerous local and international scene.
Cignal, a sister company of Smart Communications, meanwhile, also put up a team and a Dota 2 competition in another major esports tournament—The Nationals.
The Cignal Ultra Warriors brought home P400,000 for the championship win, with Nando Mendoza emerging as the best player of the finals series.
Up next are Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Tekken 7, two of the country’s biggest games on mobile and console, hosting two conferences late this year.
Mendoza and Cute, however, need to do more than just win tournaments. They should go out more often and speak about their stories. They need to reach out more to ordinary players. Their faces need to be seen more, whether on TV, newspapers and internet to inspire more.
If this will not be part of the efforts, we might just be seeing a fad of a game—a bubble that would burst anytime.
With corporate tech giants supporting esports, elite players have a bright future to look forward to.
My fear about technology, however, is that it might suddenly change its course anytime.
Tomorrow, online gamers may not be sitting down in front of computer monitor and won’t be directing through their keyboards, anymore. Virtual Reality takes over.