It’s only the first quarter of the year and in the esports scene, major tournaments are being held everywhere especially in the Southeast Asian region. One of the biggest esports events, the World Electronic Sports Games is now being held in Chongqing, China.
World Electronic Sports Games is a worldwide esports championship competition held in China yearly and organized by AliSports. AliSports is one of the biggest sports industry companies with the aim of innovating and developing sports in a digital economic mindset. This sports industry chain is founded by Alibaba Group, joined with Sina and YunFeng Fund in terms of financing.
WESG will showcase 4 of the most popular games in the world such as Starcraft II (real-time strategy game), Hearthstone (digital collectible card game), Dota 2 (multiplayer online battle arena), and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (first-person multiplayer shooter). These games are all esports worthy, as they require in-depth skills, strong game sense, and effective collaborative execution to achieve the objective of winning.
The event kicked off last March 7 with Dota 2 as the 1st game to be showcasing our country’s delegates, TNC Predator, was crowned champion despite not having their team captain, taking home a whopping $500,000 USD (P26,362,500). While TNC’s CS:GO male team will represent the country, one female team emerged to be Philippine representatives for the CS:GO female division, ArkAngel CSGO Female.
The ladies of ArkAngel CSGO Female Pro Team was able to win the PH qualifiers last October 2018 at SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. It catapulted them into the WESG SEA Finals held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last December 16, 2018. Led by their captain and in-game leader Kyung-in “Tr1cks” Lee as their AWPer. Backed up by her Entry Fragger and Secondary AWPer Jiles Korine “Laire” Buenviaje. Shara “Kuchiii” Koshikawa played as secondary fragger, as she teamed up with the their Lurker, Patricia “c0ffee” Lagua and was then supported by Joy Maria “Joy” delos Reyes. They managed to win the WESG Finals beating the highly favored Team Asterisk from Singapore, scoring 2-1.
The road was not easy for the female team as there were a lot of challenges before heading into the world stage. Forming the team was hard as the competitive scene of CS:GO is a known battleground of men. The ArkAngel CS:GO Female Pro Team proved that female players should not be left behind and that they can also play at the same level as that of men. Sacrifices have also been made on their end before the qualifiers and the SEA Finals. With the likes of leaving their day jobs so they can train full time and grind for 8 to 12 hours a day, 5 times a week. Even with the team’s said sacrifices, they still bagged that big win at the SEA WESG Finals.
As these great achievements from teams like ArkAngel inspire others and big competitions tailored for women grow more, female teams from different games became a hit in the country and leagues exclusively for female players are now being held internationally. With events such as the “Flight of the Valkyries” held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and “FSL Elite” held in Singapore, it now shows that the esports scene in the country is growing every day not just in the male division but in the female division too.
Maybe if the esports scene in the Philippines will be given more recognition by providing awareness seminars and prestigious tournaments, esports might grow in the entire archipelago as early as 2019 or in 2020 and will be reaching the heights available to traditional sports faster than ever to both men and women.