Competitive gaming has been around for quite a while now and in the Philippines, aspiring to be a professional gamer might not be too far fetched of a dream anymore.
Inspired by the PBA or Philippine Basketball Association, brands have come to together to form The Nationals — the first franchise-based esports league in Southeast Asia. The inaugural season will feature five teams and three games.
Here are the five teams:
- Bren Epro
- HF Emperors
- Cignal Ultra Warriors
- PLDT-Smart Omega
- Suha-XCTN Punisher
These five teams will compete in three games on three major platforms: Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on mobile, Dota 2 on PC, and Tekken 7 on PS4. A sixth team — STI — will join the league on June 2018 after the Dota 2 competitions.
Each game will have two conferences. The two conferences will comprise a double round-robin group stage and single-elimination playoffs. Winners of the two conference will then face off later on for the season finale.
The Nationals will be run like any other professional sports league. Commissioner Ren Vitug is hopeful the league will provide a platform where talent can be nurtured.
“The players will be provided with training and facilities, their health will be monitored, and they will have proper structure.”
– Ren Vitug, #TheNationals Commissioner #GadgetMatchLIVE pic.twitter.com/9ur2uImBtu
— Rodneil M. Quiteles (@rodneilquiteles) March 8, 2019
A tested league model in the Philippines
The franchise-based approach might be alien to international observers whose participants comprise of either clubs or city-based teams. However, it’s a tried and tested formula in the Philippines.
The PBA, which was founded in 1975 and is the longest-running professional basketball league in Asia, is also franchise-based and has been the model for other sports leagues in the country.
While that league is experiencing some issues in gate attendance, it is still running thanks in large part to the financial backing of its member franchises. It stands to reason that this league model might prove to be successful in the Philippines.
The Esports Center
Elsewhere, major Philippine telecommunications company Globe has launched The Esports Center or ESC. It’s a pop-up that will run from March 9 to 24 at Play Nation in UP Town Center, Quezon City. Globe says the ESC hopes to provide a venue where the entire esports community can come together.
The ESC also welcomes those who are into gaming and want to break into the esports industry but are not exactly sure where to start. Globe SVP and Head for Content Business Nikko Acosta says the ESC hopes to serve as the “venue to upgrade [the gamers’] knowledge and gauge their skill levels with others through peer learning.”
Present during the launch was Team Liyab — Globe’s own esports team which was built in partnership with professional gaming organization Mineski.
Other than mobile and PC arenas, the ESC will also have a place called The Studio. Here, those who are more interested in becoming streamers instead of esports athletes will have a place and the tools to learn more about the craft.
Brand support key in esports growth
Esports has seen a major rise in recent years and brands in the Philippines are going all in. The proclamation of overall support which include not only the athletes’ training and finances but also their emotional, mental, and physical well-being all sound very promising.
All of these are still in the infancy stages, but the prospect for growth and the continued support by brands and fans alike could push the industry to heights once reserved only for traditional athletes. If this continues, it might not be long before we’re having debates about who the G.O.A.T. esports athlete is.
We’ve been calling PlayStation’s X button wrong all this time
Regardless of which gaming console you have, the X button unites us all. Every console available today — the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch — has some form of the same button. That said, what do you call it? Both the Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch use other letters — Y, A, and B — for their other buttons. Naturally, majority vote calls for pronouncing it as the “ex” button.
However, Sony doesn’t use the same letter scheme. Instead of letters, the PlayStation’s DualShock controller uses shapes: Triangle, Circle, Square… and X? Do we still call it the “ex” button? According to the official PlayStation Twitter accounts, absolutely not.
In a now-infamous series of tweets, Sony has laid down the verdict in an argument we’ve probably never even thought about. Apparently, PlayStation users should pronounce each button according to their respective shapes. According to that logic, the X button should be called the Cross button.
As you might expect, the revelation didn’t go well with the gaming community. Twitter users have outrageously and creatively expressed their dismay.
What do you call it?
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 7, 2019
In response to the outrage, the PlayStation account posted a three-option poll asking what gamers call the controversial button. The more traditional X button won by a landslide: 81 percent. Meanwhile, a joke answer — “+ rotated 45°” — got 11 percent of the votes. The “correct” answer — “Cross” — got only 8 percent.
That didn’t stop the memes. Twitter user @TheDrencom posted a more hilarious compromise. PlayStation even retweeted and allowed the weird alternative. Should we call it the “no pizza” button?
The actual names of the PS buttons pic.twitter.com/pCK0RK3cPB
— Drencrom (@TheDrencrom) September 5, 2019
The Cross button’s supporters also had a few things to say in their defense. Based on the actual geometry of the icon, it’s more accurate to say “Cross,” rather than X.
Because this debate grinds my gears, I'll finish it once and for all:
– Crosses have the same distance between each stick.
– Crosses form a square.
– Exes don't have the same distance between each stick.
– Exes form a rectangle.
Basic geometry. pic.twitter.com/gz8jCJd3Bn
— nєrσ αgєnt crímsσn (@SIECrimson) September 5, 2019
Of course, Sony owns the PlayStation. They can call it whatever they want. Still, the console already has a massive following calling it by a more ubiquitous name. Are you going to call it the Cross button now?
Apple Arcade aims to make your iPhone a gaming phone
100+ exclusive gaming titles
Apple is known for its hardware lineup, including the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. The iPhone accounts for a huge chunk of the company’s revenue and has been the sole product to propel the brand towards a trillion-dollar valuation.
But with changing times, it’s essential for every business to slowly evolve. And, we’re witnessing this change with technology companies around the world. Instead of relying on first-hand hardware sales, brands are now monetizing virtual data.
Arcade, which was demonstrated during the unveiling of Apple’s latest iPhones on Tuesday, is an attempt to turn the mobile gaming industry on its head and add an extensive new revenue stream to the company’s books.
It boasts over 100 unique titles, including Beyond a Steel Sky, a sequel to the classic adventure game Beneath a Steel Sky, with art by Watchman comic book legend Neil Gibbons.
Apple said games will be exclusive to Arcade and not available on other services. The subscription service will be available across Apple devices, and, which should make for more varied gameplay.
The gaming subscription service will release on September 19 and costs just $4.99 / £4.99 / INR 99 a month. This is automatically a Family Sharing plan, allowing for up to six family members to share the same subscription for just one monthly fee.
For iOS devices,. Apple Arcade will be available Sept. 30 on and and in October on .
From Jedi to Avenger, Lenovo announces AR game Marvel: Dimension of Heroes
Your turn to save the world
dLenovo made us live our Jedi dreams in 2017, now they want us to be an Avenger. Announced at IFA 2019 is the company’s follow-up to fan favorite AR game Star Wars: Jedi Challenges — they’re taking us to another universe with Marvel: Dimension of Heroes.
The hardware you’ll need
Much like Jedi Challenges, you’ll need nearly the same hardware to make Dimension of Heroes work. There’s the Lenovo Mirage AR headset, the Tracking Beacon, and instead of a Light Saber replica, you get a pair of Universal Controllers.
Of course you’ll also need a compatible smartphone to run the game. Basic requirements are as follows: Has to be larger than 4.3 inches to align with phone tray display cutout. For iOS devices, it has to have at least a 1.4 GHz Dual Core chip along with 1GB RAM. For Android phones, it needs at least a 2.0 GHz Quad Core chip with 2GB RAM. You can check the full list of compatible devices at lenovo.com/miragear.
Play as your favorite Marvel Superhero
There aren’t a lot of details available as to how the game will play out. The only clue so far is that you have to “defend your reality” as any of the six superheroes headlining the game. The six are original Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Avengers Captain America and Thor, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Fans of the MCU should easily recognize the mentioned superheroes as they prominently feature in the last two Avengers films — Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
In early 2018, I had the chance to speak with some Lenovo Executives and they did mention working on a Marvel AR game. More popular characters like Iron Man and Spider-Man were mentioned but they’re noticeably missing in this lineup.
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