In a world where esports and gaming have become a “form of positive community entertainment“, Mineski Philippines and Riot Games Southeast Asia are advocating responsible gaming in their quest to bring esports to the grassroots in the Philippines.
“The Youth Esports Program (YEP) actually emphasizes that if you want to game, you have to be responsible enough to do your schoolwork first, and to do everything in moderation. So in the esports program, we tackle responsible gaming as one of the things we offer as one of the services to our chapters, wherein we talk to the school admins and parents to give an esports 101 and teach them how to manage their children’s time,” YEP Program Director Marlon “Lon” Marcelo said in response to a question from Digital Life Asia.
Responsible gaming and youth development
Marcelo was one of the panelists at a virtual press briefing that Mineski Philippines and Riot Games Southeast Asia held. Riot Games Southeast Asia has formally appointed Mineski Philippines as the esports and gaming agency to roll out official esports tournaments for its first-person shooter game VALORANT in the Philippines. Mineski Philippines has also been appointed as an organizer of local VALORANT collegiate tournaments.
At the collegiate level, Mineski’s YEP will run official VALORANT tournaments for aspiring pro gamer students next school year. Presently, a national student VALORANT tournament is being held in the form of the YEP’s National Interschool Cyber League, with a prize pool of over Php150,000 and weekly broadcasts on the YEP Facebook page.
“Given that inside the PPGL, we follow a really robust structure in the esports format, and we really try to use PPGL as a paragon of professionalism, that’s one way that we can address parent concerns with regards to the active playing of video games. One thing that we also do is we focus on the grassroots as well as the schools. So Mineski has a YEP program. Globe has the Esports AcadArena program. So one of the things we have at AcadArena is something we launched quite recently which is the esports scholarship,” said DC Dominguez, Head of Globe Games and Esports.
More than just competitions
For his part, Chris Tran, Head of Esports at Riot Games Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, pointed out that esports is not just about the competitions.
“I think one of the exciting things about the YEP is that it’s not just about the competitive nature of esports and the competitive nature of VALORANT. But there are also workshops around the esports industry. About careers in esports, or how you could learn good habits to get further along — not just to be successful in gaming, but to be successful in life,” Tran said.
Jil Bausa-Go, VP for Get Entertained Tribe at Globe, also emphasized that the esports community is bigger than just the active players.
“When we talk about esports, it’s not just talking to the active community that is playing. We also want to address parents, because for the most part, if Globe looks at it from a second point of view, we have the prepaid, we have the postpaid, we have the Platinum, the Globe Broadband segments. So these are different market segments, but there’s also the layer of the home and talking to the parents, because at the end of the day they are the business decision makers in the family in terms of what platforms and products they buy. We look at education dissemination about the whole ecosystem and what esports is in terms of legitimacy and what you can really do with esports from a parent’s point of view,” Bausa-Go said.
In a very real sense, the digital transformation of society is creating a world that gamers already inhabit.
Gamers are already living in the future. Now it’s time for the rest of the world to catch up.