Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham Tolentino has welcomed the Philippine Esports Organization (PESO) as an associate member shortly after its proclamation as the official National Sports Association (NSA) for esports on the Philippines.
“I personally welcome the PESO as an Associate Member of the Philippine Olympic Committee after successfully complying with all the requisites for membership and gaining approval from the POC General Assembly last August 29, 2020,” said POC President Mr. Abraham Tolentino in a statement.
“Esports is undoubtedly the current rage with millions of active participants worldwide. And the fact that many Filipino exponents of the game have distinguished themselves as top performers in the sport, gives us reason to feel encouraged and proud,” he added.
Tolentino also encouraged all stakeholders of Philippine esports to unite and support PESO as it fulfills its role as the official National Sports Association (NSA) for esports in the Philippines.
“I urge the practitioners of the sport to rally around the PESO NSA in order to forge a united and formidable front in international competitions. I congratulate the men and women behind PESO and exhort them to continue the winning ways that their Team Sibol displayed in the last SEA Games, which they dominated. With the legitimacy afforded by their membership in the International Esports Federation (IESF) and now in the POC, I have no doubt the Philippines can look forward to more stellar performances from Esports in the near future. Mabuhay!” said Tolentino.
PESO’s member organizations, including those previously under the Esports National Association of the Philippines (ESNAP), emerged as top performers in the sport, especially at the 2019 SEA Games Esports Tournament. To prepare for the launch of esports as a medal event, decorated esports athletes were directly invited and competed in open qualifiers ran by the Philippine Esports Union (PSEU). The PSEU was the organization tasked to create the Philippine Esports Team and the SEA Games Esports Tournament.
ESNAP, as part of the PSEU, provided valuable contributions to Team Sibol, the Philippine National Team for esports. Among the said contributions of PESO member organizations who were then under ESNAP included valuable funding and training for esports athletes who carried our flag.
PESO member organizations provided funding to form and train Team Sibol with the support of Smart Communications, Inc, TV5 Network Inc., and Cignal TV Inc. Moreover, PESO member organizations managed and coached the country’s representatives to dominate esports at the 2019 SEA GAMES, winning three of the six gold medals up for grabs. These included PESO’s Jess Tamboboy, who managed the StarCraft 2 Team with Mineski athlete Caviar Acampado winning a gold medal; Tier One Entertainment’s Paolo Bago who coached the DOTA 2 Team to take home a gold medal; and Bren Esports’ Jab Escutin who managed the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Team, which also snagged a gold medal.
Also among those who helped coach and manage the country’s esports athletes were team manager Richard Castillo and coach Chalk Zaldivar from Bren Esports for the Hearthstone contingent; TNC’s Paulo Sy for the DOTA2 Team; PlayBook Esports’ Mobile Legends: Bang Bang team coach Brian ‘Panda’ Lim and Tekken7 athletes Alexandre Laverez and Andreij Albar, who won silver and bronze medals respectively, with Ryan Ramirez and Ron Muyot as team manager and coach respectively; and Cignal TV and Bren Esports’ Mobile Legends Team.
PESO member organizations also served key roles to help prepare the 2019 SEA Games Esports Tournament. These included Smart Communications SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business Jane Basas, who served as the co-chairman of the PSEU in 2019; Gariath Concepts Managing Partner Joebert Yu, who served as the Competition Manager for the 2019 SEA Games Esports Tournament; The Nationals Commissioner Ren Vitug, who served as the Head of National Technical Officials for the 2019 SEA Games Esports Tournament; TNC Holdings, Bren Esports, and Gariath Concepts personnel, who comprised the NTOs for the 2019 SEA Games Esports Tournament; and Mineski Philippines who served as the onsite production team for the 2019 SEA Games Esports Tournament, alongside TV5 Network Inc. and Cignal TV Inc. production teams.
With ESNAP merging with PESO, the biggest organizations that have been moving Philippine esports forward have united under one banner. While the organizations under PESO are business competitors, they have all agreed to put aside personal interests and focus on building programs that will make Philippine esports bigger, better, and stronger.
“We are grateful to the POC in their recognition of PESO and Esports. This would help us bring in more support to our fellow Filipinos who are competing globally and bringing glory to the Philippines. Together with the IESF and the POC, we are committed to implementing initiatives that truly expand and develop esports in the country,” said Brian Lim, PESO President.
“ESNAP merged with PESO to create a unified NSA for Philippine Esports. With PESO’s member organization’s combined leadership and experience from the SEA Games and their own esports properties and events, alongside the programs of the IESF for global esports development, we are confident that the POC’s conferment of associate member status will result in a remarkable change in the development and elevation of Philippine esports,” said Jane Jimenez Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.
PESO’s first major project is the Philippine Qualifiers for the IESF World Championships to be held in Israel this December. The search for the newest members of Team Sibol has started, with the registration for the Philippine Qualifiers running from Sept 10 to 18, 2020, and the elimination games scheduled from Sept 18 to 20, 2020.
TV5 and Cignal, who have been strong advocates of esports on Philippine airwaves, will air the Philippines Qualifiers on One Sports and One Sports Plus. Smart Communications is a proud sponsor of Team Sibol, the Philippine National Esports Team.
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