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Philippines is Southeast Asia’s Powerhouse in Esports

May 22, 2023 Philippines Industry UpdatesSports

In contrast to other regions of Southeast Asia, the Philippines recognizes esports as a legitimate sport. Professional esports players can obtain licenses from the Philippine Games and Amusement Board (PGAB), an agency of the Office of the President that allows them to compete in international competitions.


The well-known national esports team of the nation, Sibol, participates internationally and finished on the podium at the Bali 2022 World Esports Championships. The group is expected to compete in the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in 2023. Among the esports games hosted by Team Sibol are Mobile Legends, Dota 2, and StarCraft II. The squad set a record by winning three gold medals at the most recent South East Asian Games. The team was made up of the top athletes, including Jeniel “Haze” Bata-anon, Allan Sancio “Lusty” Castromayor, Jason Rafael “Jay” Torculas, and Angelo Kyle “Pheww” Arcangel. Additionally, it hosted Kenneth Jiane “Kenji” Villa, Karl Gabriel “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno, and Carlito “Ribo” Ribo.

Esports-related Bachelor of science degree

The Philippines Esports Organization (PeSO) is the country’s regulating body for esports and seeks to standardize the industry by working with foreign organizations and giving local athletes the necessary training to compete internationally. The Lyceum of the Philippines University currently offers a four-year Bachelor of Science in Esports in collaboration with Blacklist International, the proprietor of Tier One Entertainment, in an effort to foster local talent.

An important market for esports

With over 43 million players, the nation is a major esports market in the area. It is expanding at a CAGR of more than 12%. The market is anticipated to grow to US $1.5 billion by 2025, aided by a population of 110 million people with an average age under 25 and a high smartphone ownership rate as well as the quick rollout of 5G networks.

Blacklist International Bren Esports, Execration, Neon eSports, Omega eSports, Team Pacquiao GG, and TNC Predator are some of the Philippine esports organizations. Mobile Legends and the Bang Bang Professional League are two local esports leagues that have competitions with sizable prize pools.

After Covid, the esports market in the Philippines experienced rapid expansion, and game publishers Moonton Games and Riot Games have boosted their local presence by making investments and opening offices there. The three most played games are League of Legends, Dota 2, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

Dota 2 is the most valuable game

With nearly US $10 million (more than 60% of the entire prize pool), Dota 2 is in first place, followed by Mobile Legends: Bang Bang ($3 million) and Call of Duty: Mobile ($0.5 million).

Djardel Jicko “DJ” Mampusti is the Filipino player with the most earnings. He competed in Dota 2 competitions and earned prize money totaling over US $1.1 million. The top three earning Filipino esports teams from the previous year were TNC Predator ($4 million), Mineski ($2.3 million), and Execration ($0.4 million).

Filipinos are permitted to wager on offshore casinos, sportsbooks, and other gambling sites per local law. Esports betting is permitted, with the only requirements being that the sites be authorized and registered in the nation of origin and that bettors be older than 18. Live betting during a game has also grown to be very well-liked. The most popular bets are made using real money and fixed odds on an online betting site, and payments are frequently made through cryptocurrencies, bank transfers, and e-wallets.

Using esports, luxury companies communicate

Ferdinand Gutierrez, the founder and CEO of Ampverse, provided insight into the future of esports in the Philippines during an interview with CNN. Global companies like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, BMW, and others are embracing esports to engage with the gaming youth and, in the process, are redefining the business model, according to Gutierrez. Another emerging trend noticed by Gutierrez is the use of mixed content to provide more entertainment value. The CEO of Ampverse concluded by describing how the widespread use of mobile phones was democratizing gaming. According to Gutierrez, gamers from Southeast Asia who previously couldn’t afford PC-based equipment may now compete utilizing mobile devices. The Philippines is also transforming into a major player in the esports industry.

Female gamers are becoming more prevalent in the Philippines, and women are also contributing significantly to the expansion of the esports sector. The first women’s esports gold medal at the South East Asian Games was recently won by Sibol’s Women Wild Rift team.

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