Philippine eSports has, no doubt, experienced a significant amount of growth since its early days and has gone from simple LAN Cafe-based tournaments to Big Mall events. The number of tournaments have been increasing in numbers almost each year, and also the number of enthusiasts, organizing bodies and as well as players. But somehow, even with the number of years of its existence in the Philippine region, if we take our views to a much more broader state and compare ourselves or how eSports is doing with other regions, even the simple fan may say that we are still far behind.
Production value might be one of the main factors that one can notice when comparing our events to their events, and by “their” I would mean regions like China and Europe (Prize Pool would be the next on the list of these main factors but let’s not dwell on that too much). But Production Value, Prize Pool or whatever the common things that one would notice aren’t just the only things that we need to have or improve if we want to reach or be in level with tournaments or events from our neighboring scenes for as we look deep and have an unbiased view of the Philippine eSports scene, the following 3 simple things that will be listed in this article would totally stand out.
Probably the biggest problem that any eSports region could have, and could possibly just be the very root of why the scene itself is not advancing or be in the state that it’s supposed to be. Performance and talent, no doubt, is what most of the country’s top teams and players possess but attitude is just a whole different story. For years, we have witnessed how one player jumps from one team to another, mostly is because just because he likes it, or due to internal conflicts among the roster itself. Perhaps the most critical case would be a player being kicked out forcibly by the Team’s managing body not because he fluctuates when it comes to performance but because his/her attitude is just way too much to handle. Unnecessary demands, no actual or persevering discipline when it comes to training (even the “training” can be something to be doubted upon as most teams just end up doing scrims or just simply bet against each other during their practice sessions), and the Self-Entitlement or “Hey, I’m a top player even if I leave someone will still sponsor me” Mentality. While it is true that they can excel and potentially top the local rankings the chance of a team to actually stabilize is always at threat.
The industry has its own supporting community yes, over the years it has build up a huge base of enthusiasts, both the casual and the extremist that seems to have been there on every event, poking on every news, every controversy, and watching out for every update. A fanbase composed of not just hundreds but thousands and still growing, but still, the industry lacks in a significant amount of exposure for its existence to be fully recognized locally. While the existence itself has been and is being known by the Online Community, exposure at the level that even the Broadcasting Networks of both TV and Radio to recognize still seems to be far-fetched at the state that the industry is in, but not that it’s non-attainable over a short period of time. With exposure comes more sponsors, with more sponsors comes more events from organizers, with more events comes more players and with more players would mean more cash not only for winners but for the organizing bodies itself and those who have invested in their eSports venture. Because hey, whether we are driven by passion or not in this field, eSports has already grown from being just a scene to an industry with its own business potential.
So let’s accept this fact; eSports is an industry, an industry with business potential and with that fact comes competition. Over the years, together with the growth in number of players, events, tournaments, prize pools also comes the growth in number of organizing bodies that have ventured into eSports. While the fans themselves might be comparing them against each other, reaching the point that one throws mud at the other or find any possible controversy that they can write articles, or drop names about is not just acceptable, especially on how young the industry still is today. These parties have all said the same mission statement to their enthusiasts and that is the “improvement of eSports here in the Philippines”, now for sure it would be hypocritical for someone to start slinging mud at the other just because they share the same goal right? And instead of comparing these organizations against each other, why not compare the totality of the industry against other regions or against other scenes? Personally I would think that, no matter the number of organizing bodies present in the Philippine eSports industry today, all of them should actually work hand-in-hand if they really share a common goal, a little friendly competition is not a bad thing because at the very least they can still compare themselves with each other in terms of what the other is doing for them to improve for the others to follow, but then again, check the term “friendly” before the word “competition”.
Now I know that some or even most would think that this list would lack something and yes it does lack a lot, but somehow pointing out these 3 major things, 3 simple yet major things that we can all work on as to fully realize the full potential of the Philippine eSports industry can give us the full idea of how we can all help in attaining the level that we are supposed to be right now.