Sen. Paolo Benigno ?Bam? Aquino said the hosting of the Manila Major gaming tournament in the country can help the Philippines boost its image as next e-sports and video game development hotbed in the world.
“I think this is just the beginning. The whole world is getting to see that the Philippines is a player in the e-sports scene,” Aquino said during the event held at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The third event of Valve’s Dota Major Championships, the Manila Major features 16 international teams battling it out for a total pot of $3 million and spots in The International 2016, which will be held in Seattle, Washington in July.
“There are only four of these events every year and we get to host it. I’m hoping that this will be a yearly event, leading up to the biggest competition in the United States. Hopefully, this will be a permanent stop,” said Aquino.
Aside from the e-sports industry, the lawmaker said the Philippines is now a favorite destination for video game developers, creating employment for more Filipinos.
“We’ve been helping the game development industry set up shop here in the Philippines. Big publisher is setting up a studio here in partnership with one of the biggest schools,” he said.
“So many things are happening, especially with the number of jobs being created because of events like this (Manila Major) and because of the movements in the game development world,” he added.
Aquino also lauded the organizers, led by the Philippine E-Sports Association (PESPA), PGL and Valve, for the successful staging of the world-class event in the country.
“This is just a start. A lot of people here worked really hard to put this up. It took years to put it up. The first time we spoke, it was just a dream, now it’s here,” said Aquino, whose initiative led to the formation of PeSPA to strengthen the foundation of e-sports in the country.
Recently, the country hosted the ESL One Dota Tournament, which was held for the first time in Southeast Asia.