TV5 betting on e-sports; moves to lure gamers

The television unit of PLDT Inc. is increasing its exposure in the gaming sector as it plans to launch next month a series of tournaments for The Nationals, the country’s first e-sports franchise model league.

On Tuesday, TV5’s ESPN5 launched the Road to the Nationals, which aimed to lure gamers to qualify in tournaments for games such as DOTA2, Mobile Legends and NBA2K19.


Qualified gamers will get the chance to be drafted and sponsored by the pioneer teams of The Nationals; will sign contracts, and regarded as professional athletes.

TV5 CEO Vincent “Chot” Reyes called The Nationals the “PBA of e-sports,” referring to the Philippine Basketball Association.


“We are here to elevate e-sports to the highest level,” Reyes said in a press conference yesterday.

TV5 is seeking a bigger slice of the e-sports market, whose value this year could reach $900 million globally, a report by Newzoo showed.

Local figures were not available, however, Reyes said there were about 32 million gamers in the Philippines.

He said the official team members could make P40,000 to P50,000 a month.
Minors will be allowed to join, however, they must secure waivers from their parents.
Also at stake are hefty prizes, often running in the millions of pesos.

The qualifying tournaments start on Aug. 4. The Nationals, meanwhile, will have its debut in 2019.

“The Road to the Nationals’ DOTA2, Mobile Legends, and console game tournaments are part of our NSA’s thrust to grow e-sports in the Philippines,” Joebert Yu, the president of he newly established National Sports Association for e-sports, the E-sports National Association of the Philippines (ESNAP), said in a statement on Tuesday.

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