DOST Eyes Esports Development

Let the games begin!

Supporting the growth of the gaming industry and digital sports in the country, DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Esports World Federation represented by its Founder and CEO, Mr. Arniel O. Gutierrez, on 19 February 2024.

Esports in the Philippines has been steadily climbing in popularity over the last decade. As of 2021’s statistics, there were already more than 43 million active gamers in the country.  The Philippine is also ranked number 18 in the world in terms of e-sports earnings, with 1,777 Filipino esports players pocketing a total of $20,492,446.42 USD in prize money[1] across 1,363 tournaments.

The DOST-NCR was assigned as the lead in the collaboration initiatives with the ESWF, the  DOST Regional Offices, and the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development to ensure the fulfillment of the objectives of the partnership as follows:

  • Talent Development. 16 DOST Regional Offices and their partner local governments and State Universities and Colleges will be mobilized to identify and nurture local gaming and digital sports talents. Training programs, workshops, and seminars will be organized to equip aspiring players with the necessary skills and knowledge.
  • Event and Competition Promotion. Events, conferences, and competitions will be organized at the regional and national levels, aside from yearly exhibits that will show off Filipino innovations in digital games and esports.
  • Income Generation. Lucrative opportunities will be created for Filipino game developers, esports players, and other industry actors through participation in local and international events and commercial agreements.
  • Global marketing and recognition. The partnership will actively promote and market Filipino-developed digital games and esports talents in the international stage. Global partnerships and investments will also be secured to maximize the financial benefits for the Philippine gaming ecosystem.

The good news is that DOST will not be starting from scratch in achieving these objectives as its partner, the Esports World Federation (ESWF), is not a novice in the field and is the first internationally oriented esports federation in the Philippines. Moreover, a number of Higher Education Institutions are already offering game development as part of their curriculum. This curriculum will not only cater to the interests of students passionate about gaming but will also equip them with the specialized expertise needed to thrive in this rapidly evolving industry landscape.

Esports has indeed moved out of the basement and onto the world stage. The reason behind its popularity is easy to see – aside from providing intellectually stimulating entertainment, esports is also a relatively new field that can boost the country’s economy by creating jobs for organizers, Filipino content creators, and the electronics, ICT, and start up industries in the Philippines.

By: Pinky Marcelo, SCCU


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