While the crowd cheered loudly for their favorite Dota 2 teams (or plays) at the SM Mall of Asia Arena for the Dota 2 Manila Masters Tournament, a different kind of unification also happened this weekend in the building right across.

Yesterday at one of the rooms of the SMX Convention Center, a group of unlikely people banded together and attended the first ever eSports Business Conference Manila hosted by MET (Mineski Events Team) and TV5.

eSports is serious business

The closed-door event invited key individuals and their respective companies who have either made an impact on the local eSports / gaming scene or are willing to take a bite into the ever-growing market. Companies put aside their differences and sat through a delightful afternoon of insightful sharing and networking on how we can all move the local gaming and eSports scene forward.

 

Coach Chot Reyes of TV5 remarked “eSports is just as big and massive as traditional sports. There are many similarities between esports and sports – basketball in particular. For DOTA, both have 5 players at any given time. Both sports have coaches and nutritionists. Both have stats. Even media coverage is the same, which is why it is very easy for TV5 to put eSports on free television.

The guests comprised of people from both gaming and non-gaming sectors who came together to find opportunities in the industry. Unilever, Asia Brewery, Bacchus Energy Drink, Samsung, Secret Six, Twitch, Xsplit and whole lot more sat through the various talks, sessions and networking opportunities. There are even foreign guests from Sony Music, Sozo and Elephant (creators of Game Start Asia, a Singapore-based premiere gaming convention) who attended the event.

 

Yes, Venkman, we know.  eSports is still in its infancy stage here in the Philippines and it’s going to take everyone to help grow this baby along.

Earl Yu, IT and Marketing Head of Bacchus Energy Drink, Ronald Schafner, General Manager of Secret 6, Miguel Molina, APAC Business Development Manager, Splitmedia Labs, Marlon Marcelo, VP for Events & Marketing Mineski Events Team and Coach Chot Reyes, President of TV5 Network Inc. started the local panel discussing various cases studies and early hurdles of eSports in the country. Everything from how parents perceived eSports to how eSports impacted brand performance and bottomline sales were discussed by these people.

 

After which, a panel comprising of Danny Chang, General Manager of Mineski Events Team, Matthias Meti Beyer, SEA Regional Director of Twitch Interactive, Mickael Piantchneko, Global eSports Consultant and Patrik “Carn” Satermon, Chief Gaming Officer of Fnatic capped off the afternoon’s program.

If there’s one thing that the brands should take away from that afternoon is that the Philippines is ripe for eSports as an industry and it’s an industry worth growing further – the Manila Masters is a prime example of this. The Manila Masters is the first premiere local tournament mounted after our taste of the international Dota 2 event fervor that happened last year. If the Masters performs well, we may be looking at other Masters Tournaments across the region, heck even around the globe. And that’s something worth noting considering the first leg had its origins here. For the tournament to do that, it will need support of people who believe in the game and the potential of the industry and the Esports Business Conference is an excellent first step in making sure that more support pours into this endeavor.

Here’s to MET, TV5, and the rest of the people who attended. As a gaming fan, I’m looking forward to seeing more and more brands embrace this diverse new platform and give it the recognition it truly deserves! Kudos and cheers to growing the business of gaming and eSports!