ESL One Manila by PLDT Fibr & Smart GameX: a pioneering esports event
ESL One Manila by PLDT Fibr & Smart GameX crowned its champions on Sunday April 23, 2016 and sealed its position as a pioneer within the esports industry across the entirety of the weekend. Attracting over 16,000 fans across the weekend, with many hundreds of thousand more online, Asia’s first ESL One event is the first Dota 2 event of this magnitude in the region. Anticipation of the event’s importance, both locally and internationally, led ESL One Manila by PLDT Fibr & Smart GameX to be the first government-supported event in Southeast Asia, with approval from the local tourism board.
“Thank you and congratulations to all who made ESL One 2016 a success - from our organizers to the eGamers and all the fans who came out to watch the best teams battle it out in Manila,” said Senator Bam Aquino of the Philippines, who officially opened ESL One in Manila’s Mall of Asia. “It was an honor to be a part of this milestone in the Philippine eGaming community! I am hopeful that this will kickstart many more gaming events in the country, bringing in business, tourism, and so much passion and energy to our shores. We will continue to support local eGaming and game development - two industries with so much potential in generating new opportunities for our young, dedicated, and very talented countrymen!”
“ESL One Manila was an exceptional first step for us in hosting large events in the region,” said Ulrich Schulze, VP Pro Gaming at ESL. “The incredible atmosphere with thousands of fans on site has shown the potential of the Philippines as an esports country, and will be the cornerstone of our future events in South East Asia.”
The ESL One premium Dota 2 esports tournament was broadcast in its entirety by major local television company, TV5 Network Inc., marking yet another first for the regional esports industry. All matches in the US$250,000 ESL-hosted tournament leading up the the grand final were broadcast on AksyonTV with the finals telecast on TV5. Further television broadcasts were available in countries such as Brasil over the Rede Globo network, with matches available online through ESL streaming partners Twitch, Azubu and Hitbox. Together, these platforms offered an unprecedentedly large platform for esports competition and helped to further establish esports in the burgeoning region.
“More than just a culmination of years of hard work in the push for better esports in the Philippines, ESL One Manila also serves as our budding industry’s coming out party to both the world and to the biggest businesses here in the country,” said Marlon Marcelo, VP Marketing and Events at Mineski. “Aside from earning us recognition from the government, be it from the Tourism Promotions Board adding ESL One Manila to their official listing for April or Senator Bam Aquino gracing us at SM MOA Arena, the event also featured the heavy support of PLDT and Smart, business leaders in their local fields, as well as TV5, one of the biggest TV networks in the country.”
Winners of the tournament, the all-Chinese Wings Gaming, preformed dominantly in the finals, taking out European hopefuls Team Liquid definitely in a 3:0 series in what was their first major LAN tournament. Local team Mineski put up a valiant fight in the playoffs, almost taking out American representative compLexity Gaming to the delight of the local audience. In recognition of recent performances, both Wings Gaming and compLexity Gaming have earned themselves a chance at the upcoming US$3 million Manila Major with a direct invite and qualifier seed, respectively, highlighting once again the importance of such events as ESL One in the fabric of the Dota 2 esports scene.
The conclusion of ESL One Manila by PLDT Fibr & Smart GameX marks a prize money payout milestone of US$750,000 in under twelve months. ESL is set to fulfil its pledge of one million dollars in prize money across a timespan of a year this June, when it hosts ESL One Frankfurt for the third year running in the legendary Commerzbank-Arena. Tickets are on sale for the renowned European esports festival, with more information available on the event’s official website. Should you wish to be accredited as press for the event, please consult the official request form.