Hello dear RF readers – Jay here. We’re already midway in February and yet we are still looking back to 2019, where a lot of things have happened. Thankfully, it’s much easier to transition to 2020 the same way we write today’s date on paper.
Last month, this writer and Chad discussed what’s up with Esports and Pop Culture Events in 2019, continuing my outlook for the next decade: Events will continue to evolve.
Esports in 2019: WILD and HYPED
While I myself am not that much acquainted with esports, I’m pretty sure we had a lot of esports-related events this year. Chad, who was part of Gariath Concepts until the end of 2019, is part of a team that helped hype up the esports scene, being part of the ESGS, as well as Rev Major (co-organized with Playbook Esports). Both are well-remembered for its activities which gather the esports and fighting game communities together.
ESGS is still well-regarded as the go-to event for the esports market, while REV Major has cemented itself to be a spectacle in the FGC, gathering a lot of people as early as 9:00 am. Chad has this to say: At the start of the opening, the whole venue is jam-packed with people. You won’t see that in any gaming event na sobrang puno way early – it’s something. Seven titles and yet, napuno in two days.
REV Major even brought in the TEKKEN World Tour (REV Major was a Master leg for TWT) – along with it, Katsuhiro Harada himself – in the country. (*cue Iori Minase) Let’s not forget that the legendary Daigo Umehara was also at REV Major with a secret boss style entrance at the Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition finals.
Speaking of ESGS 2019, PlayStation was absent as they prepare for their new PlayStation 5 console expected to come this year. The good news is, Singapore-based distributor MaxSoft went all out to showcase the Nintendo Switch in the country, which is then played by a chuck-full of fans.
Back to PlayStation, we’ve had the local NBA 2K19 Philippine Qualifiers and Asia Finals in the Philippines, putting everyone’s attention to us. (Team Philippines won the Asia Finals for four consecutive years)
Esports in 2019 will not be complete without league-based esports tournaments – Globe and Minseki’s PPGL, as well as The Nationals that involve the PLDT-Smart group rose to the challenge of providing a platform for competitive esports in the country.
Plus points for The Nationals for securing a broadcast spot on both cable and terrestrial TV. Chad even told me that Mobile Legends tournaments on The Nationals got thousands of viewers every match, every day, on-air and online. How’s that for a big media mileage?
If there’s one thing I want to remember in 2019, it’s that Esports is endorsed as medal event– 2019 SEA Games’ esports tournament won’t be possible if not for the efforts of Razer as well as the esports-related organizations in Southeast Asia who are pushing for this kind of recognition. Mad respect.
Pop Culture Events in 2019
We also talked about the absence of AsiaPOP Comicon Manila – as announced, APCC is postponed due to the “organizational restructuring and multiple conflicting events happening during the couple weeks before and at the same time as the original APCC Manila 2019 dates.”
We can easily think of Disney acquiring 20th Century Fox (which will be then renamed to just 20th Century Pictures, its old name back in the 1930s) a decade after taking Marvel into its fold.
This gives an opportunity for the Philippine TOYCON to take back control of the Pop Culture event scene again after rebranding itself for a wider international audience. As someone who helps TOYCON PH, I can definitely say that the rebranding, as well as the event, is a success on its own.
Chad had reservations with TOYCON PH last 2018, but he is happy with the outcome of TOYCON PH 2019 and is looking forward to another positive TOYCON PH this year: “[…] happy that TOYCON is taking back control.”
Moving back to my prediction (which is not exactly a prediction but honestly a positive outlook), I told you before that events will evolve. How so?
We go into the routine of having two series of anime/cosplay conventions under the banners of Ozine Fest and Cosplay Mania. Ozine is catching up to the trend that Cosplay Mania has set and has already released its calendar of events for 2020. This, after they have set the overall themes for their Ozine Fest and Otaku Expo events last year.
We do both agree on one thing: Major events will soon need a vibe check as smaller events catering other niches are popping up one by one – in the past decade alone, we saw the rise of themed cafes like Cafeterium Chaldeas, The SVC, Heroic and The Union; the rise of fan events such as Hypnosis Underground and Anime Idol Convention; art markets including Komiket which is expected to compete against the bigger Komikon as well as Sticker Con which has already made a sizeable audience.
Of course, we are sure that there are also spaces for improvements- something Chad is more of an expert of nowadays.
Capping off this post, we are encouraging you to listen to the latest episode of keepsakes.: The Podcast where I got Chad as a guest for more insights.