Afterthought: The Manila Major

How one big gaming event says a lot about us Filipinos as Gamers.

Just last week one of the world’s biggest pro Dota 2 spectacle took place in the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Metro Manila, the second of its kind to be held in the country, right after the highly successful ESL One Manila 2016. Lots of cheers, chants, records being set, predictions broken, and OG wins it all, hooray, thank you!

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The Major

The Manila Major is just part of a series of Professional Dota 2 tournaments sponsored by Valve and hosted by third party organizers such as ESL, Perfect World and PGL and taking place in different parts of the world such as Frankfurt, Germany, Shanghai, China and lastly in Manila, Philippines. The tournament series builds up towards Valve’s biggest Pro gaming event, the The International Dota 2 Championships and hopes to resolve the problem with consistency amongst teams as well as resolving the previous confusion as to which major tournaments would earn them an invite to TI.

Pinoy Crowd, Best Crowd

Most of the people who were part of the organizing body, the invited personalities such as the casters, hosts, and even the players have exclaimed in unison just how hyped up the Filipino Crowd can be when it comes to gaming or to be more specific Esports events in the country. While local organizers have long been feeding the hunger of the Pinoy crowd for top-notch gaming entertainment, big events such as the Manila Major has helped fill the void that has long been awaiting top-tier or prestige events featuring the teams and players that they have learned to love over the course of the attendees being gamers and being fans. No single game was without cheer, no single play was without people chanting the names of players and the teams, heck even the man wiping the tables at the stage was even cheered upon, that’s just how hyped up Pinoys are.

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Even LGD’s September was not safe from the Crowd Cheers.

An Exchange of Cultures

Perhaps one good Filipino trait that has been showcased in the Majors is how welcoming we can be when it comes to our foreign friends, you’re miles away from home but love Dota 2? No worries, let’s talk about your favorite team and heroes. While the term hospitality has long been loved to be misunderstood by a lot of people, the Filipino crowd steered it right back to what it actually means by becoming a welcoming face for someone who has traveled hours just to share the experience of being at a pro-gaming event, even going to the point of assisting our traveling buds on how to survive the filthy streets of Manila which, and yes we will admit it, contains a handful of people who wish to squeeze your very last penny just because you look whiter and taller than the average folk.

All for the love of Gaming

Surprisingly, not only those who love Dota 2 filled up the 20,000 seater MoA Arena but enthusiasts of other video games as well who are there to either actually watch  the games or was just tagged along by friends who were really insisted for them to join in. Disgruntled expressions might be expected, and a ton of sighs and groans and “I wish I could be doing something else right now” are expected but, still, surprisingly faces that cheered along helped filled up the already cheering crowd. In fact there were some people who came from other video game titles that were eagerly asking as to why this hero is picked, or why this team not chose to fight, or if is there any vision difference on the game’s day time and night time.

Watch Dota? No PLAY Dota
Watch Dota? No PLAY Dota

 

Not without a flaw

While the Manila Major looked perfect from the online spectator’s point of view, with some top-notch production work, great games and a few expected delays, it will not be without some minor complaints from its event attendees who found the event a little too strict when compare to the previously held ESL One Manila 2016. Fan access to players and personalities is limited and there were a few quirks that happened on the event which forced a change in some rules and regulations although very minor.

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Yes Tobi, just smile, smile at the camera, don’t mind the authentic babyrage behind you.

While it did tone down the fan experience, it is quite understandable as the organizers are looking forward to the security and well being of the personalities involved, most especially on a very busy Dota 2 season with tournaments coming one after another in very quick succession, still there could have been a better compromise from the Organizers other than your typical Meet & Greet sessions to help bridge fans to the players and personalities.

Moving forward

With a very positive reception towards the event and the gaming culture as a whole, the Manila Major after effect is hoped to resonate not only on the pro scene of competitive game titles but also towards the other areas of the video game industry here in the Philippines. The influx of awareness brought by events such as the Manila Major may also help fuel the still rising indie video game industry by showcasing just how much Filipinos appreciate games and gaming events. The consistency of having big events such as this one regularly would also help our local event organizers to help realize why people spend their time and hard earned money to fill up stadiums, not only because of what’s free with their tickets but to feed their hunger of witnessing video game history being made.

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