Esports have seen a tremendous surge in popularity in the Philippines, particularly among the youth. A survey by Rakuten Insight revealed that nearly 40% of respondents had engaged in video gaming in the past month. Of these participants, approximately 3% played VR and AR games. Among various gaming genres, role-playing games stand out as a favorite in the Philippines. The thriving esports scene in the country owes much to these gaming preferences.
The Philippines garnered significant attention for esports following the Southeast Asian Games 2019 tournament hosted in the nation. This event served as a catalyst for the growth of esports, leading to the emergence of successful Filipino esports teams such as TNC Predator, Mineski, Execration, Rave, Cignal Ultra, DeToNator, Renovation I, and Neon eSports. With such a thriving esports landscape, Filipinos can now place bets on their favorite teams through various online platforms.
Fortnite ranks as one of the most popular esports games in the Philippines. As of May 2020, Fortnite boasted over 250 million players in the country. This battle royale and survival game, released by Epic Games in July, attracts players from across Asia. With up to 100 players per round, Fortnite challenges participants to be the last one standing. It’s accessible on various platforms, including macOS, Windows, Nintendo, PlayStation 5, Xbox, Android, and iOS. The game’s popularity extends to its “Fortnite Save the World” mode.
Valorant, released in June 2020 by Riot Games, has gained significant traction in the Philippines. In July 2021, the game boasted nearly 15 million active players worldwide, with a substantial player base in the Philippines. Valorant, available exclusively on Microsoft Windows, draws inspiration from the legendary Counter-Strike series. Filipino players appreciate its incorporation of Counter-Strike mechanics.
Dota 2 holds a special place among Filipino esports enthusiasts. Released in July 2013 for Windows and Linux, Dota 2 has captivated players with its two-team, five-player battles across diverse maps and regions. Each player controls a unique hero, each with distinct abilities. Notable Filipino Dota 2 teams include ArkAngel Predator, Gamers Lounge, Reckoning Esports, Neon Esports, and TNC Predator, with the latter achieving significant success in various tournaments, including The Internationals.
League of Legends (LoL)
League of Legends, often referred to as LoL, stands as another beloved multiplayer game in the Philippines. Drawing inspiration from Dota, LoL shares similar gameplay dynamics. The Filipino esports scene boasts strong teams such as TNC Predator, Steelwolves Gaia, Liyab Esports, and ArkAngel. These teams have participated in numerous League of Legends tournaments, showcasing their skills and competing on both local and international stages.
PlayersUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
PlayersUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG, concludes our list. Released in December 2017, this battle royale online multiplayer game was inspired by the Japanese movie “Battle Royale.” In PUBG, up to 100 players land on a remote island, scavenge for equipment and weapons, and engage in intense battles. The PUBG Philippine Series, held annually, stands as the most prominent PUBG tournament in the Philippines, attracting avid participants and spectators alike.
These five esports games have left an indelible mark on the Philippines’ esports scene, captivating players and fans alike with thrilling competitions and captivating gameplay.