By Vernon Mikhail D. Radovan
eSports is a small firework in the Philippine competitive scene but Globe Conquerors Manila might be its loudest pop yet.
After the success of Rampage, telco giant Globe Telecom has partnered with game operator Garena PH and eSports tournament organizer Riot Games to launch Globe Conquerors Manila, a tournament among the top “League of Legends” teams in Southeast Asia. League of Legends is one of the most popular PC games in the world.
Launched at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on August 13, Conquerors Manila offers a prize pool of $250,000 and may yet be the most high-stakes eSports tournament in the Philippines to date.
However, Garena PH chief executive officer Jan Frederic Chiong stated that the biggest reward would be that the winning team will get a direct seed in the League of Legends World Championships 2018 to be held in South Korea, the gaming capital of the world.
Group stage competition blasted off immediately after the launch, with eight teams from five countries including the Philippines currently competing for a spot at the world championship. The teams are Ascension Gaming and Mega E-sports from Thailand, Kuala Lumpur Hunters and Team Anything from Malaysia, Resurgence from Singapore, Bigetron E-sports from Indonesia, Arkangel and Mineski from the Philippines.
Mineski?s midlaner Eric Allen ?Exosen? Gubatan said their stiffest rivals are Ascension Gaming and Resurgence, both composed of veterans in the global League of Legends competitive scene.
The group stage or preliminary round will run until August 16 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza while the semifinals will be held on August 18 at the MOA Arena. The grand finals will be held on Aug. 19 also at MOA Arena. The finals will also feature Cosplay Clash and live performances by Spongecola and Itchyworms.
Along with the semifinal competitions is the Celebrity Showmatch 3 where two teams of celebrities, Red and Blue Team, will compete for charity. In the game, for every takedown, P1000 will be donated to The Hinaluman Foundation, as well as P5,000 per Dragon kill and P10,000 per Baron kill.
Red Team will be composed of Baste Duterte (top lane), Jack Reid (jungle), Shayee (mid lane), Megan Young (ADC), and Mikael Diaz (support). Blue Team will have Christian Bautista (top lane), Cowsep (jungle), Empoy (mid lane), Ashley Gosiengfiao (ADC), and Sinio (support).
Globe promised that this is only the start of their gaming initiative as they are working on other events that span different platforms of gaming competition. They are also working on making eSports more mainstream in the Philippines, a representative said.
Highlights of the group stage will be broadcast on ABS-CBN. Full games will be livestreamed on Facebook, Youtube Gaming and Twitch. VODs can be viewed on the Garena Ph Youtube channel. Schedule of matches is at http://www.conquerors.ph/team-schedule/
Meanwhile, tickets for both live events are sold at SM Tickets and at outlets found in SM Cinema branches located at SM Supermalls.