Competitive gaming organization Mineski Corp. has kicked off a publicity blitz for the first time to promote the Mineski Pro-Gaming League (MPGL) SEA Grand Finals with a whooping prize pool of over P1 million (US $22,000).
The P1 million prize is the largest in the local esports scene to date, says Ronald Robins (pictured), Mineski CEO, creating welcome buzz among the gaming community. But this time, Mineski is reaching out to bloggers and traditional media in a bid to introduce esports to a wider audience.
Now in its sixth iteration, the MPGL aims to grow e-sports in the country by creating a world-class stage where gamers in region can compete, spurring not just the interest of its growing fan base but also brands looking for new opportunities to seize a tech savvy and predominantly male market.
Top gaming brands Gigabyte, SteelSeries and Viewsonic have partnered with Mineski for the tournament but Robins admits that finding sponsors was tough.
Over 25% or around 25 million out of 100 million Philippine population are into gaming, says Robins, but concerns ranging from addiction to inducing violent behavior is dampening what is otherwise a booming business in other countries, especially in China and South Korea.
“It was hard to convince partners that there is a market here in the Philippines,” he shared with Marketing.
“Since we started doing this, it wasn’t our priority to earn from it. In fact, most of the time we had to pay for the costs from our own pockets because it was near impossible pull off such events."
Like in most countries, computer hardware and peripheral brands frequent eSports tournaments, but it could soon change. Non-electronic brands are starting to take notice and among its early adopters are are Red Bull and Coca-Cola which have partnered with gaming organizations similar with Mineski in the US for branded tournaments and team sponsorships.
Mineski’s chief selling point is its strong online presence. Mineski has a broadcasting and content creation arm called MineskiTV which claims to be the most successful eSports Youtube channel in the country with over 25,000 subscribers and 6.5 million views. Mineski also have livestreams of popular contests via Twitch.tv which has so far amassed 16,000 followers and over 16 million views to date.
Mineski also manages the biggest eSports portal in the Philippines. Featuring both local and international gaming news, the Mineski.net boasts over 500,000 unique monthly visitors, 1.6 million page and article impressions and an average 300,000 ad impressions.
“The key interest of people right now is sports and entertainment and a lot of it runs online now. But the key thing here is that e-sports is a hybrid of both. This is the link and that’s why there are a lot of people inside this community,” Robins said.
“We want to be part of the group that will be first. Like in any other sport, if you start last, you never end up winning anyway,” he adds.
Esports teams from eight countries will compete at the 6th MPGL SEA Grand Finals ast the SM North EDSA’s Skydome and Cyberzone on 29-30 November.