Fans of the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) hit game Dota 2 are stoked right now as the initial bouts for the Group Stage of The International are just around the corner.
To the uninitiated, The International is the largest e-sports tournament in the world in which the biggest teams from all continents battle it out for prestige and, of course, for the prize.
The world is their stage
Over the past few years now, tournaments for multiplayer online games like League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have been gaining the attention of the media not just for the growing number of followers, but for the ridiculous number of prizes for the victors as well.
Originally, streaming websites like Twitch as well as online tech and gaming websites were the ones just ardently following these. Subsequently, mainstream media has started to pick up with these events and became interested with the intense following they get.
Even the Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the leading broadsheets in the country, has a dedicated section just for anything e-sports.
A few weeks from now, the main event of The International will finally kick off, pitting the world’s greatest Dota 2 prizefighters against each other. Now on its seventh incarnation, the teams that will emerge victorious from The International 7 will get their share from the whopping prize pool of $23.39 million.
The prize pool will be divvied up on the following ranks, as lifted from Team Liquid’s wiki page:
|5th – 6th||$1,048,301||4.5%|
|7th – 8th||$582,390||2.5%|
|9th – 12th||$349,434||1.5%|
The stakes just keep on growing since Valve, the game publisher behind Dota 2, came up with The International.
When The International first happened in 2011, the prize pool was just $1.6 million where one million dollars went to the champion. The pot just kept on growing as Valve started offering the compendium to players, a way for the company to raise money for the pot.
The compendium will give players unique cosmetic items for their character, as well access to predictions on the tournament, giving them a little eye candy in the game. Compendiums prices start at $10.
Filipinos may be lagging behind in terms of internet speed and overall support for our e-sports athletes, but it doesn’t hinder some of our finest players in town.
For starters, two homegrown teams made it to The International 2017, namely TNC and Execration. Meanwhile, a member of the North American team Digital Chaos is a Filipino and used to play for another local team.
TNC Pro Team made it to prominence after it ranked first during last year’s The International Southeast Asia Qualifiers, becoming the first team to made it to the world stage since Mineski in 2011.
While they already secured their ticket to victory, the team encountered a clash in the form of US visa. Fortunately, Senator Bam Aquino and Tryke Gutierrez of the Philippine eSports Organization moved to expedite the approval of their US visa.
Although the team didn’t make it to the finals, they were able to bring home a total bounty of $519,262. The team’s total earnings have reached $1.5 million as of date.
Like TNC, Execration was also one of the teams that had to fly for The International 2016, albeit them only qualifying for the wildcard.
Before they became one of the most exciting teams in the realm of e-sports, they’ve been knocking local and regional tournaments left and right: ASUS ROG SEA Cup, MPGL Southeast Asian Championship, and MPGL Season 8 League 2.
These all happened in 2016 and with Execration emerging as the champion. The team raked in a total of $120,630 ever since they started competing professionally.
E-sports has been making room in college life too. Aside from countless computer shops strategically located around colleges, competitive online games have already become intercollegiate as the first Dota 2 competition in the Philippines happened last June.
Organized by the University of the Philippines Gaming Guild, Impetus 2017 saw eight representatives from UAAP schools vie for the top spot, with the University of Santo Tomas’ Team Kangkong bagging the P25,000 prize money.
Although the tournament is not officially part of the list of collegiate sporting events under the UAAP, the participants still hope that someday e-sports will become recognized by the athletic association.
Get in the game
In a previous article, we mentioned that becoming an e-sports athlete is the surefire way to get there. However, not everyone was born with jazz hands and micromanaging skills. How else can you jump the e-sports bandwagon?
According Nelson Garcia, who’s connected with one of the biggest cyber café chains in the Philippines, getting in the business is no walk in the park. You need to shell out some serious money to become a part of their network.
Aside from leasing a strategic place that has at least 70 square meters, you also need a capital of P3.4 million to start off.
With that amount, you’ll be able to get 40 computers with good specs, computer tables, 40 chairs, a server control tower, a signboard, a billing PC with point-of-sale software, networking, and interior renovation. However, business permit and leasing fees are not yet included in the said amount.
Aside from the necessary equipment to make your own computer shop, you’ll also get assistance on how to run your computer shop, some marketing through their networks, basic training, among others.
For a five-year contract, this seems like a pretty good deal. With fans wanting to follow their favorite pro players, there will be no shortage of customers for those who want to venture in the cyber café industry.
E-sports is becoming a legitimate industry that can no longer be ignored even by big companies. If you cannot become a pro e-sports prizefighter, then you can definitely train the next generation of online pugilists.
Who knows, the next pro gamer that will bring home all the gold and glory will come from your computer shop?