The Philippine Esports Organization and the Games and Amusement Board are joining hands to further boost the esports industry in the country.
“There were a lot of discussions and the GAB also assured us of support when we host the biggest esports competition in the world this year,” PESO secretary general Joebert Yu told Manila Standard.
Yu and his group paid GAB chairman Richard Clarin a visit at his GAB office in Makati, where the topic included easing up the policy on drug testing on athletes for the country’s hosting of the M5 World Championship in December 2023 this year.
Yu said some athletes coming from countries where cannabis, known locally as marijuana, will still be allowed to compete even if they tested positive for the said substance that is prohibited in the Philippines.
“May mga top players kasi na galing sa mga bansang Europa na legal ang marijuana. So medyo pinag-uusapan natin pa rin sila, accommodate sila even ma-test sila na positive for its use,” said Yu.
It will be the first time the country plays host to the world championship, which was first held at Axiata Arena in Malaysia, topped by Indonesia’s EVOS Legends. The next one, the M2 World Championship, and M3 were both held in Singapore. The M4 World Championship was held in Indonesia.
“PESO has a lot of big plans in lifting the country’s already excellent esports scene to new stellar heights, including bringing the biggest esports events into the country,” said PESO Director Marlon Marcelo.
PESO is currently busy preparing the national team for the esports competition in the Southeast Asian Games set in May in Cambodia.
In the previous SEA Games in Vietnam, the Philippine esports team bagged two gold medals with victories in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and League of Legends: Wild Rift events.