Esports Insider 09 June 2023
Esports Around The World is a series of profiles outlining the esports ecosystem in various countries globally. The series ties into ESI’s international esports business events, which take place around the world.
The Philippines’ presence in esports has been notable since the beginning of the last decade. Although its international accolades are limited, the size of the audience and market makes it a significant esports nation.
Like most nations in South and Southeast Asia, the Philippines is a mobile-first nation when it comes to esports, largely due to the lower barriers to entry involved in mobile gaming. As such, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is heralded as a major title in the region and regularly generates the country’s biggest regional viewership. In 2023, MPL Philippines Season 11, a franchised competition, generated a peak viewership of over 950,000.
However, what also makes its esports demographic unique is its affinity towards MOBA titles. League of Legends and Dota 2 remain fan favourites in the country, with Djardel ‘DJ’ Mampusti regarded as one of the best Dota 2 players in the region. Of late, VALORANT has revived the region’s FPS community, with European esports organisation Team Secret representing the Philippines as a partner team in VCT Pacific.
The Philippine Games and Amusement Board (PGAB), which is under the Office of the President, officially recognised esports as a legitimate sport in the Philippines in 2017.
This allows professional esports players to secure their own athletic licenses, providing more freedom for players to participate in international tournaments to represent the country.
The Philippines also had the honour of introducing esports as an official medalled event in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. This was the first time an esports event sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee was included in a multi-sport competition.
Notable Tournaments & Leagues
As a predominantly mobile-dominated country, most of the major tournaments in the Philippines are mobile esports tournaments. Despite this, and due to mobile esports’ massive growth in recent years, a number of tournaments offer sizeable prize pools — especially by domestic standards.
|ESL One Manila
|Philippine Pro Gaming League (PPGL) 2021
|Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League Philippines (MPL Philippines)
|VALORANT Challengers: Philippines
|Wild Rift Champions Southeast Asia 2022
Notable Esports Organisations
Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusion does not signify an org is not notable.
National Associations / Federations
Note that inclusion in this list does not suggest any acknowledgement from ESI of its authority, works or official capacity.
Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU), a Manila-based Philippine university, offers a Bachelor of Science in Esports. The four-year degree is offered in partnership with Blacklist International-owner Tier One Entertainment, who helped develop the curriculum. The programme offers two ‘tracks’ — Esports Management, and Game Design and Development.
Moreover, AcadArena is a Philippine collegiate esports organiser which hosts collegiate esports events for colleges and universities in the Philippines.
This is a preliminary country profile and will be augmented with additional information over time. If you have any suggestions or feedback for this profile, please get in touch at [email protected].
Originally posted: May 17th 2022. Last updated: June 9th 2023.