MINERVA BC NEWMAN
CEBU CITY – A newly-organized, Cebu-based company–the Monarchs Esports, formally launched its determination and passion to develop and manage e-sports and online gaming in Cebu into a viable and globally accepted industry not only in Cebu but in the entire Visayas and Mindanao (VisMin) area.
In a media launch on July 6, Monarchs Esports owner Mike Cubos formally introduced the company and its online gaming teams who are established gamers and have been competing in the regional, national and international Mobile Legends online gaming arena on their own grit and logistics.
Cubos, an online gamer himself said that online gaming in Cebu has already a following but is not that organized. Gamers here are skilled in their respective game choices. “We’re only talking of Mobile Legends, League of Legends, Call of Duty (Wild rift) Mobile both for Multiplayer and Battle Royale categories and the Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile,” he added.
According to Marbles Paralisan, founder of Cebu e-sports United (CESU) that since 2016, there are about more than a 100 online/video gamers in Cebu who are mostly young people ages 16 to early 30’s and who choose to organize their own respective teams just to compete in many Mobile Legends (ML) tournaments locally.
“I know most of these players in Cebu. This is actually the first time that the teams and e-sports in Cebu are being united and organized and now there’s a management team to look into the myriad aspects of e-sports and online gaming,” Paralisan said.
Cubos is excited start the groundworks for the development of the e-sports/online gaming industry in Cebu, which is now united, and Monarchs Esport is the first e-sports management company here to map the industry’s niche in the local, national and international market.
Meet Cebu’s ML teams/players
Team Manager Sandra Tagalog told this writer that Cebu’s Mobile Legends teams are composed of seasoned players who have been in the ML tournament scene for more than four years now and five of them have individual achievements based on their respective skills, character and teamwork.
Lex Dinoy, IGN-Domingo already got 35 championships in her role as Core; Ken Quijano a.ka. Ken has 10 championships in his belt on his role as support; John Michael Armecin a.k.a. Makeeeel has achieved four championships on his role as Tank while Kasrten Blue Pielago a.k.a. YlnMn Azure has accumulated 50+ champ titles on her role as Offlane XP.
Jesse Joaquin Tagalog a.k.a. top global player has achieved 15 championship titles on his role as Offlane Gold including the first ever Cebu City Mayor’s Cup in 2019.
Tagalog went on that the Call of Duty Mobile (CoDM) team on the other hand is composed of young athletes hoping to break into the professional scene. They have not won any onsite games but each one has strong potential.
“At the moment, the they are busy practicing to improve their gameplay as a formidable team,” Tagalog added.
Tagalog went on that for the Wild Rift team, they were formerly known as Alab ng Puso (ANP) team. They are competing their last tournament as ANP at the Philippine Pro Gaming League (PPGL) tourney, after which they will be using the Monarchs Esports in all future competitions, tournaments and events.
Future of e-sports and online gaming in the VisMin
“The e-sports/online gaming industry is growing here in Cebu and the potential for ML gaming in the country is really great as shown during the 2019 ASEAN games when e-sports was introduced and with the ML Philippines Team emerged as the champion,” Cubos said.
Cubos added that in other countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, China and in Europe, they are high on e-sports and online gaming and are well-supported by their governments. “We’re not lacking in skills,” he said.
There is a lack or no support at all from government for the development of the e-sports/online gaming industry especially in the VisMin area, as most of the winners in online gaming come from Luzon.
That is why we formed the Monarchs Esports, Cubos stated, to support, develop ad manage the e-sport/online gaming industry in the Visayas and Mindanao area with the up-coming Monarchs Esports Academy that will help and support the gaming industry here to become more sustainable.
The e-sport/online gaming Academy serves as the teams boot camp that will prepare both the young and the older retired teams and players for employment and fallback. The Monarchs Academy will also look for sponsors to support the teams and the e-sports industry here for their livelihood and gaming career, Cubos said.
According to the Monarchs organizers Mike, Sandra, Marbles and Jun that slowly, there are cafes, and local government leaders and organizations that are now looking at the e-sports/gaming industry and are starting to sponsor teams and online gaming tournaments.
They said that income wise, online gaming brings in money in terms of awards according to the levels of championships and titles, from P15K to P20K for local level championships and about P100K up for national level championship. For international titles, potential income is from P200K for top 10 and up to P1.2M for top one title.
“We hope to build these dreams and careers for the young gamers. Aside from the income money they get from streaming and sponsorships they have an option to become a pro in gaming and make this as a career for the young e-generation,” Cubos added.
Online gaming behaviors and statistics
According to Popular platforms in gaming market Philippines 2020 Published by Martha Jean Sanchez on Jun 24, 2021 that the most popular gaming platform in the Philippines were mobile devices and PCs and game consoles were also popular among the gaming community.
In a recent survey conducted in the Philippines, it said that 33 percent of online gamers stated making in-game purchases because of its reasonable price and one of the most popular gaming-related purchases was subscribing to mobile phone internet data packages and buying in-game items such as virtual goods like avatars and skins.
The survey said that online gaming has become a popular online activity in the Philippines, but user’s internet connection/speed is a setback and one factor that limits smooth gaming experience and that across the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines had the slowest broadband connection, the survey said.
Filipinos found a way to cope with restrictions in traveling and moving around the city during the COVID-19 pandemic, and one of these activities was online gaming. Share of gaming platforms in the games market in the Philippines as of April 2020 included 74 percent for games on mobile; 65 percent on PC Games and 45 percent on Console games, the survey bared.
Statista Research, in its June 21, 2021 publication that as of May 2020, Alodia Gosiengfiao had around 6.9 million followers on her online-game streaming platform on Facebook. Alodia Gosiengfiao is the co-founder of a gaming agency in the Philippines called Tier One Entertainment.
The research also said that Spending time on social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter is a popular pastime across all ages and genders. For some online gamers and streamers, turning to social media platforms is their best chance of exposure, especially for someone who wants to be known in the video game arena.
Statista Research revealed that recently, more and more online streamers have popped up during the COVID-19 pandemic in the country as a result of being confined at home to mitigate the spread of the virus.
In a recent survey conducted in the Philippines, an average online gamer spends between one to two hours on online gaming daily. As a result, a vibrant video game culture has emerged among Filipino gamers, with some of them opting to play in a bigger scope and audience, while some prefer streaming on social media platforms, others have taken it to a higher level and competed internationally.
The Philippines recently has been recognized as one of the fiercest competitors in e-sports within tournaments involving multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), first-person shooter (FPS), fighting, card games, battle royales and real-time strategy (RTS), according to Statista Research.