eGilas Pilipinas’ success in eFIBA is another sign of the country’s passion for both gaming and basketball.
The worlds of traditional sports and esports have long been colliding. Nowadays, it’s typical to find esport-versions of most sports, such as football, racing, and basketball. And in case you didn’t know it yet, the Philippines is one of the world’s top markets for esports, with over 40 million active gamers (and counting). Combine that with the country’s favorite sport, basketball, and what do you get? eGilas Pilipinas.
eGilas Pilipinas is the Philippines’ official basketball esports team and they have been around for quite some time now. Their squad started making headlines back in 2020, when the national team first competed in the FIBA Esports Open, a series of NBA2K games. That year marked the inaugural season of the tournament, the first time FIBA tied up with the world of esports.
Imagine being so good at NBA2K that you get to travel the world to compete. That’s what these guys are doing.
NBA2k on the world stage
The first FIBA Esports Open in 2020 was just an exhibition tournament. But since then, popularity for NBA2K tournaments has grown considerably. Thus, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) is now on its second season of the eFIBA, a national competition where teams from all over the world get the chance to represent their countries.
Each team in eFIBA competitions feature five players who play NBA2K on PlayStation consoles in a 5v5 format. Each player even has their own in-game avatars, and they must work together like a true basketball team in organized plays. And this year, for the first time, eFIBA is hosting an in-person World Finals in Sweden.
eGilas Pilipinas impressively dominated the Asia qualifiers of eFIBA Open Season 2, going undefeated with an 8-0 win-loss record in the elimination rounds and finishing it off with a 2-0 victory over Indonesia in the regional finals.
Playing NBA2K alongside four other players requires a whole lot of skill, team organization, and strategy. The Philippine team has thus far been able to exhibit all these attributes, highlighted by their clean run. Now, they will get to showcase their talents on an even bigger stage.
With their success, the team booked their ticket to the World Finals in Sweden taking place on November 25 to 26 where they will be playing for the flag against the other finalists: New Zealand, Lebanon, and Morocco.
The rise of eFIBA and the success of eGilas Pilipinas is just one marker of how the world of sports is constantly evolving and growing. On top of this, it is yet another showcase of the talent and passion for basketball that exists in the Philippines.
Banner image from Freepik.