In a series of press events held in June and July this year, ESPN 5 revealed The Nationals, the first-ever franchise model esports league in the Philippines. Here’s the lowdown of everything you need to know about the big event that’s looking to elevate the state of esports in the country!
The Nationals Will Be the PBA of Philippine esports
As a brief recap, the Nationals was announced way back in June of this year. It will be the first-ever franchise based esports league in the country akin to its traditional sports counterpart the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA)
This means that the Nationals will feature various corporate-sponsored esports teams competing for the prize pool of millions of pesos and the prestige of being the very best on the grandest esports stage in the Country. The Nationals officially starts in 2019.
There are a total of 8 expected teams to participate in the league but as of the time of this writing, 6 founding teams of the Nationals have already been revealed as: TNC Pro Team, PLDT/SMART Communications, Cignal TV, HappyFeet eSports, BrenPro Inc. and STI Education Systems.
The Battle Lines have been Drawn
The Country’s best and brightest esports athletes will compete and do battle in 3 different fronts: Dota 2 for PC, Mobile Legends for Mobile, and NBA 2k19 or Tekken 7 (Tentative) for Console.
The Road to Nationals Will Kick Everything Off!
The Road to Nationals is a series of esports tournaments to be held nationwide to serve as a qualifiers of sorts to the Nationals and is looking to kick everything off in August 4.
The Road to The Nationals will also serve as the scouting grounds for the founding teams start scouting and recruiting their prospective players for The Nationals.
The Road to The Nationals will of course also match the games to be played in the nationals, so teams will be competing in Dota 2, Mobile Legends, and either NBA 2k19 or Tekken 7.
The Road to The Nationals Starts Next Week!
The Road to The Nationals starts as early as August 4! The qualifiers will be held at the following dates and venues around the nation:
PC Game: DOTA2 Regional Qualifiers
- August 4, 2018- TNC Morayta
- August 11, 2018- SM Seaside Cebu
- August 25, 2018- Cybersquare Cafe, Cagayan de Oro
- September 22, 2018- TNC Bacolod
- September 29, 2018- Localhost Cafe, KBEN Building, MG Del Pilar, Iloilo
- October 13, 2018- UGZ-137 Nueno Avenue, Poblacion 1A Imus, Cavite
- Grand Finals: October 27-28, 2018 Esports and Gaming Summit, SMX Convention Center, Pasay
Mobile Game: Mobile Legends Qualifiers
- The Mobile Legends Professional League Season 2 (MPL Season 2) serves as the Mobile Legends Qualifiers for the Road to the Nationals Mobile Legends Division
- For more details visit https://www.facebook.com/MobileLegendsOnlinePH/
Console Game: NBA 2K19 Qualifiers or Tekken 7 Qualifiers
- The final details for either of these games will be announced in September 2018.
Big Things are on the Road Map for Local Esports
Apart from the epic The Nationals league, slated to happen in 2019, there are other big things in store for the Philippine esports scene:
First, no less than, Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas was on hand to reveal that talks are underway to include the esports in the upcoming SEA Games. Should this push through, it would mean the organization an official esports team to represent the Philippines in the games in the form an “eGilas“, an offshoot from the national basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas.
This also means that standouts from The Road To Nationals and The Nationals have the chance to be selected to represent the country on an international stage!
The next big announcement is that the creation of the Esports National Association of the Philippines (ESNAP) which will function as the official governing and managing body of National Esports.
Once fully operational the ESNAP seeks to open the doors of international competition even further for the Philippine esports scene and also work towards the inclusion of the esports in the SEA Games.
It is in Good Hands
One of our major takeaways from the announcements is that the fate of our local esports scene is in very good hands. The previously mentioned POC President, Ricky Vargas‘s involvement and enthusiasm about the big push is a stellar sign that wonderful things are on the way. Additionally, the main orchestrator of this affair, ESPN 5’s President and CEO Vincent “Chot” Reyes and his team have been working tirelessly and passionately to ensure the success of the Nationals. And finally, in addition to the many notable names in attendance, The support of one Manny V. Pangilinan, President and CEO PLDT, and known support of Philippine sports in its many forms, rings out as the best indicator for its success.
“This is esports like never before” says Vincent “Chot” Reyes “Aspiring esports athletes now have a chance to get into a sustainable playing career. This is their time to seize the opportunity.”
Big things are coming to Philippine esports and we’re excited to be able to witness it and do our part to help! Geekend Gladiators keep you up to date with the latest updates on the Road to the Nationals and The Nationals in the coming months so make sure you check in!
Raffy Leynes is a being powered completely by his love for the 90s, Superheroes and Pro Wrestling. He doesn’t know what the heck musings are but he is told he does them on his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.