eSports is becoming a huge industry, with some tournaments even having prize pools in the millions of dollars. There are plenty of different games that have a huge esports following, like LoL, DotA 2 and CSGO to name a few of the more popular ones. Each of the games I listed has a bunch of events year round and have a bunch of streamers streaming their games every day on sites like Twitch.
Over the past week or so, I’ve been starting to play more CSGO and have been following the pro scene a bit for a while. I really enjoy watching pro-CS, especially when my favorite teams play. What strikes me as odd though, is that as far as I can tell, there aren’t any Philippine teams that get to the international level of play. I don’t follow LoL anymore and never got into DotA 2 but I believe the Philippine teams that were able to get into international tournaments were pretty quickly eliminated from the running. I actually remember watching a LoL game where a Philippine team was beaten by a team who were messing around and not taking it seriously.
The way these games work, you have to practice a lot, keep up with the patches that they roll out and practice a lot (yes I meant to put practice twice). Now, in some games (LoL stands out here), we have our own game servers, so Filipinos play against Filipinos. This is to ensure best ping and such, but can also make it where the top players don’t really have anyone to play against to get better. The Philippines is small, and not everyone is a gamer, and certainly not a high skilled gamer, so playing against the same people over and over gets boring and stale. There isn’t any room to improve there. As for games that have SEA servers, then high ranking players would kind of experience the same thing to a lesser extent, but now have language barriers and maybe even ping issues.
Basically, the diversity in North America, Europe and other parts of Asia helps them because more players mean more people to play with which means more varied playstyles and such to practice against. A Philippine team getting to international level tournaments is like putting baby lions up against adult lions, sure they’re lions but they aren’t at that level yet, they need time to mature and improve.
Just an observation I made today. I feel like the Philippines does have some great players who can compete internationally, they really just need competition in order to help them improve and adapt instead of having stale games against the same opponents. Of course, the issue is, how would a team here get some practice in against top tier teams without ping issues… I guess the only way would be to actually move to competitive regions and play there, but that wouldn’t solve the issue, just give those certain players a way to improve.