The third stage of the Road To The Nationals eSports event goes to Cagayan de Oro on Aug. 25 in hope of developing more players to comprise talents, who could be tapped to represent the country in future international meets.
The Road To The Nationals had just wrapped up the first two editions in Morayta, Manila and Cebu as the nationwide search for the country’s best e-gamers continues.
Six teams will compose The Nationals, created for e-gaming aficionados—TNC Pro Team, HappyFeet eSports, BrenPro Inc., Cignal TV Inc, PLDT/Smart Communications, and STI Education Systems—all of which will select players to compete in the Road To The Nationals, a series of eSports tournaments set to happen nationwide.
But more than anything else, the event will serve as a prelude to the creation of a pool of players that could represent the country in future international meets and Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas believes eSports is the future of Philippine Sports.
“They (IOC) had a one-day session talking about eSports. It was attended by the president of the IOC. The global group heading the international sports is Mr. (Patrick) Baumann, secretary general of the International Basketball Federation. On the POC side, I’m happy because the Philippines has formalized eSports and an NSA has been created for it because eventually we see the esports as the sport of the future. You cannot turn around anymore, but you have to bring it to the games. In the Asian Games, it’s going to be a demonstration sports. Hopefully, if we are able to get an NSA, be recognized and represent the Philippines, then we should consider eSports in the Southeast Asian Games,” said Vargas.
In The Road To The Nationals, participants will play in eGames either in PC, mobile or console. Among the games featured are DOTA 2 for PC, Mobile Legends for mobile, and NBA2K19, for console which is still being worked out at this time.
The ESports National Association of the Philippines (ESNAP) had taken steps to be duly recognized by the POC as the official national sports association of eSports.
“A few years back, we were not aware that it is going to be this big,” said Ren Vitug, secretary general of ESNAP. “A few years ago, we had tournaments and only a few people were playing at cybercafes for a few thousand pesos as prize money. Now we have participants and audience filling up the big stadiums and with millions at stake.”
After Cagayan de Oro, the Road To The Nationals will go to TNC Bacolod on Sept. 22 and travel to Localhost Café in Iloilo a week later. The last qualifying stage will be held at the UGZ, 137 Nueno Ave, Poblacion 1A Imus, Cavite before the grand finals on Oct. 27 and 28 at the ESGS, SMX Convention Center, in Pasay.