ESports (electronic sports), an emerging industry in the Philippines using video games, received a huge boost on Tuesday with launching of The Nationals, the first-ever esports franchise model league in the country set for launch in 2019.
Six corporate partners, namely TNC Pro Team, HappyFeet eSports, BrenPro Inc., Cignal TV Inc., PLDT/Smart Communications and STI Education systems, have committed as founding teams of The Nationals, with an eye of discovering the best esports athletes through ESPN5’s series of esports tournaments, which start on August 4 with the DOTA2 Regional Qualifiers at the TNC in Morayta.
“We are using the Road to The Nationals as the pool of talent to build the teams in The Nationals,” said Vincent P. Reyes, President and CEO of TV5. “This is esports like never before. Aspiring esports athletes now have a chance to get into a sustainable laying career. This is their time to seize the opportunity.”
The Road to The Nationals will be played across 10 locations all over the Philippines, with all kinds of gamers represented – PC, mobile and console.
Each gaming platform will feature a game title, DOTA2 for PC, Mobile Legends for mobiles and either NBA2K19 or Tekken 7 for console gaming, offering a prize pool worth millions of pesos.
After elimination matches to be held from August to October, the Final 8 teams for the different titles will battle it out at the Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit 2018 to be held Oct. 27 and 28 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
To further elevate esports, a national sports association for the games was formed, the Esports National Association of the Philippines, headed by Joebert Yu.
“The Road to The Nationals’ DOTA2, Mobile Legends and console game tournaments are all part of our NSA’s thrust to grow esports in the Philippines,” said ESNAP President Yu. “The three separate tournaments are ESNAP tournaments. This is officially the biggest push to elevate Philippine esports.”
Powered by PLDT-Smart, The Nationals’ regional tournaments and Grand Finals will all be exclusively aired on ESPN5 as the first of its kind local grassroots esports tournament.