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Manila Masters: Kickstarting the Philippine Esports Evolution

Manila Masters: Kickstarting the Philippine Esports Evolution

by Jose Ricardo AspacioJune 6, 2017

Takeaways from the recent Manila Masters.

2017 in the Philippines started with numerous gaming events but Manila Masters is one of the more well-known international events that many fans have been looking forward to.

Building up such a large following within the country, Mineski a Philippine-based gaming organization was able to make an event worthy of being called ‘International’ level due to the audience around the world watching their favorite teams. Five teams were invited and three teams from their respective qualifiers, SEA, China, and the Philippines.

Team Evil Geniuses, one of the world's best Dota 2 teams and a certified fan favorite at the Manila Masters.

Team Evil Geniuses, one of the world’s best Dota 2 teams and a certified fan favorite at the Manila Masters.

Held at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 26 to 28, Manila Masters being the third Esports event that was held at the Arena and of the same game, following after ESL One Manila that was organized by ESL last April 23 to 24, 2017, and The Manila Major organized by PGL and Valve last June 7 to 12, 2016. The crowd wasn’t that big compared from the last two events but the amount of people that were present was enough to pump up the players, with sudden screaming from the fans due to the intensity of the matches.


Part of the line outside the event venue showing the sheer number of fans that have come to watch the Manila Masters

As you enter the event, several booths from the sponsors have been stationed in different floors, from gaming booths to showcase booths it would take you a sum amount of walking just to visit all booths not to mention that the VIP booths were located at the end of the 2nd floor and the Secret Shop is outside of the Arena itself, might seem like a chore to walk but it is good for gamers to get some walking. Kidding aside, the booths were fairly a lot for a Dota 2 centered event. I felt like I was in a small gaming festival while strolling around the area but most of the people were just there to watch the event proper than visiting the booths, during important games the halls would be empty and as the players call “GG” a rush of people would go straight to the ‘Mineski Infinity’ booth or just walk around and experience the other stalls.

The Secret Shop, one of the many side attractions of the Manila Masters.

The Secret Shop, one of the many side attractions of the Manila Masters.

Overall, the event properly catered all the fans with intense matches and unbelievable plays from the international level players.  The experience of being in the arena is way different from watching at home, no matter if you are a General Admission ticket holder or a VIP.  Aside from the VIP drama that occurred during a fan signing, Manila Masters is just a first of its kind having a Philippine-based organizer to handle the event, ESL was also there to support the event but for its entirety, the event is a milestone for both Filipino fans and its Filipino organizers.

Following the success of ESL One Manila and The Manila Major, the Masters proves how our country can be a wonderful audience to the invited teams and has the ability to fill a whole arena of attendees who wish to watch Esports competitions, and is capable of holding international-like events which prove that the Philippines may be a small country but with its strong gaming community, with some willing to even come from far away places just to experience what being in a prestige or premiere tournament feels like.

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Jose Ricardo Aspacio

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