A new franchised esports league is set to launch in the Philippines, with six telecommunications and TV industry partners coming together. Titled The Nationals, the league will launch in early 2019.
The league will see four titles be played: one PC title, a mobile title, a console title, and a “wildcard” game. None of the exact titles had been decided upon at the time of the announcement.
The Nationals will follow a traditional league format and aims to be the main source of talent for its nation – where competitors may end up competing in the Asian Games, and possibly in the future, the Olympics.
The six founding partners of The Nationals are:
- TheNet.Com – Filipino net cafe, owner of TNC Pro Team
- HappyFeet Esports – Filipino Dota 2 team
- BrenPro Inc. – Multimedia marketing and content creation company, esports tournament organiser
- Cignal TV Inc. – Subscription-based satellite television service provider
- PLDT Inc. – Filipino telecommunications company
- STIN Education Systems Holdings, Inc. – Education and investment corporation
Vincent P. Reyes, President and CEO of TV5 commented on the announcement, via ESPN: “Esports has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years in both audience and home-grown talent. Our goal has always been to elevate the sport by giving it a platform to reach a wider audience. We have been pioneers in putting up esports tournaments on free TV, so it makes perfect sense for us to air the first ever franchise-based league in the Philippines.”
Gariath Concepts, the organisation that’s behind the Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit, will be in charge of organising the league and the logistics behind it. The Nationals itself will be broadcast live on ESPN5.
Jane Basas, CEO of Cignal TV Inc also commented: “Cignal has always believed in giving the Filipino viewer what it wants, whether it’s a new movie channel, the best sports events or a more immersive news program. Cignal’s move into esports is motivated by the same passion to give people what they’ve been clamouring for. And more than that, we want to take our position and help elevate the play and broadcast of esports to new heights in the country.”
The Road to The Nationals, a method of finding players to compete in teams when the league kicks off in the first quarter of 2019, will be launched in August of this year. This tournament will span across multiple games and will be played across 10 locations all over the Philippines. While the titles played may not match those chosen for The Nationals, it will reflect the diversity in the game pool – accommodating for PC gamers, console gamers, and mobile gamers.
Esports Insider says: Franchised leagues are becoming more and more popular in esports – with the Overwatch League, NA and EU LCS, and the King Pro League, for example – so it’s great to see the Philippines get involved. The Filipino gaming market is definitely growing, and this is sure to help the competitive side of the scene.