ESGS 2014 – Something for Everyone

It’s been a messy, yet awesome weekend, and now that the dust has settled let’s take a look at we all could learn from ESGS.

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Messy, yet still awesome, that’s how I’d like to describe ESGS or the Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit held last November 15-16, 2014 at the SMX Convention Center, near Mall of Asia in Pasay City Philippines. A true blend of Electronic Sports as well as Independent Video Game titles, this was the first of its kind event to hit the Philippines, and people who visited are already comparing it to other big-game cons like PAX and TGS.

But what did really happen to ESGS for those who haven’t attended? What did it had to offer that some have said that it had something for everyone, from the MOBA enthusiast, the console loyalist, and even the MMORPG fan? Let’s go and dissect.

A Meeting of both mainstream and Indie

The very unique thing about ESGS is the introduction of the Local and Independent Video Game Developers, by local meaning based in the Philippines. Names like Boomzap Entertainment, Ankama, Dreamlords Digital, Figment Games, Quickfire Games, Skillshot Labs, Synergy 88, Xorcas, Zeenoh Games and as well as the developers from the Independent Game Developers Association of the Philippines. Not to be left out too is the young generation of Video Game developers, the guys from College of Saint Benilde that gave us a taste of VR with their Oculus Rift based game feature. Big video game publishers also took part in the event, with prestigious booths set up by AsiaSoft Philippines, Cherry Credits and as well as Cubizone Philippines. Well known Tech and Gaming event exhibitors are also present, names like MSI Philippines, Razer and Monster Energy, plus a whole lot of exhibitors that I may have not mentioned.

The very heart of the event is Video Games, and Video Gaming, attendees are not only showcased with the popular titles that dominate the Philippine Gaming Industry but are also introduced to names that are fairly new to their tastes, from Mobile to Console, to VR, there definitely is something for every gamer, regardless of what Genre he’s into or as to what platform he’s currently using.

Competitions and Tournaments

With Electronic Sports being part of the convention, ESGS did also feature a couple of video game tournaments, nearly all of which are featured at the main-stage. Having partnered with a local esports ois rganizer, eSports pretty much dominated the big stage with most of the titles hailing from one known national tournament. Other Game Tournament Organizers are also present in the event, namely the guys from the Console Community, Pinoy Versus, Pinoy 2D Fighters, Smash Pilipinas, and PinoyPS.com, that are also there to host Console Competitions. Big game publisher AsiaSoft also had a share of the tournament spotlight as together with their prestigious booth setup, a tournament for their featured game, Strife, is also held.

Just focused on eSports?

If there was one thing that’s quite disappointing about ESGS it’s the fact that somehow, Electronic Sports or Video Game competitions have dominated much of the center stage, Video Game developers were given time to introduce their wares with the hosts giving them interviews as they roam around the event area, but then to their expectation, and to mine and some of the people that I know as well, is that there should be a proper balance of attention given to every exhibitor, most especially the local developers who are very much eager to take part in the event. But even though it is somehow disappointing, it can never be denied that when it comes to video game events, eSports can really bring in a crowd, and the positive side is that the people themselves are not at all focused on the main-stage, the tournaments, but rather really going around, testing out new and interesting stuff that the exhibitors have offered them.

The “Surprise” factor

Knowing how most of video game conventions in the Philippines are setup, I should say that I was truly surprised at how the event ground layout was arranged, instead of the typical 1 stage, multiple booth setup, other exhibitors are actually given freedom to setup their own stage and brag about their own stuff. AsiaSoft for example, went all out in setting up their booth, complete with a gaming area, a stage and an LCD screen themed around Strife, Cubizone also had their own Screen setup, as well as the Console Organizers such as PinoyPS, Smash Pilipinas, Pinoy2D Fighters and Pinoy Versus.

What we can all learn

With ESGS already evident to be a success, Game Event organizers now have a new layout that they will all soon follow for any attempt for organize a Video Game Event here in the Philippines. Good balance of attention, proper division of the booth layouts, and a focus not only centered on Tournaments which is the common thing that’s been happening, but also inviting local video game developers as to help promote the discreet, yet undeniably big industry of Video Games and Game Development in the Philippines, perhaps its time that we all move our focus from just one point of view and give ourselves a much more bigger look at the industry of Video Games.

Regardless of platform, regardless of genre, we are all gamers, we play, we enjoy, we get competitive, we go casual, but we are still one big community. The story of ESGS 2014 may have ended, but I sure am looking forward to the start of the ESGS 2015 chapter.

Photos Courtesy of: ESGS

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