Jab Escutin on AP.Bren's Partnership with Team Falcons

Jab Escutin on AP.Bren’s Partnership with Team Falcons

AP.Bren and SIBOL’s General Manager gives his thoughts about their big partnership and what this means for Filipino esports.

Big things are on the horizon for AP.Bren as CEO Leo “Jab” Escutin explains their partnership with Team Falcons. As one of the pillars within the Filipino esports community, Jab has a clear vision for his team and entered this partnership keeping that vision in mind.

“We were approached by multiple esports entities,” said Jab during an interview with the media. “I made it clear to our potential partners that our focus is on the competition themselves. That’s what we’ve been doing for the longest time and is maybe one of the keys to our success.”

Jab Escutin on AP.Bren's Partnership with Team Falcons
Leo “Jab” Escutin (top right) together with the Falcons AP.Bren coaching staff during the MPL PH S13 playoffs. (Photo from MOONTON Games)

It makes sense then why AP.Bren chose to partner with the Saudi-based esports org. Falcons have already established themselves as powerhouses in other esports but also have a keen eye for what makes an esports team successful. “Of all the entities that we talked to, I think Falcons was the one who understood that best. All our initiatives and plans for the future also aligned so that’s why we ended up with them.”

Success, of course, means winning tournaments but Jab sees the partnership between Falcons and AP.Bren going beyond that.

“One of the things that we liked coming into this partnership was that they already understood that we have value for them… We wouldn’t partner with them if the only value we give them is winning [one] tournament. They understood the history of the team and that in of itself is valuable to them already.”

Opening More Doors for Filipino Esports

On a more frank note, Jab mentioned that it just made sense for AP.Bren to partner with Falcons due to the support that they can provide for the team. “I’ve been running an esports team for four to five years now. One thing you should know about running an esports team is that resources are always limited. So partnering with another team that has a lot of resources can help develop your team… It gives us more opportunities to learn and makes my job a little bit easier.”

AP.Bren isn’t alone in this line of thinking as other Pinoy teams have partnered with international orgs as well.

Netherlands-based Team Liquid has acquired ECHO and UK’s Fnatic acquired ONIC, which covers both their Indonesia and Philippine teams. “It’s the effect of EWC (Esports World Cup),” said Jab when we asked for his thoughts about the timing of all these partnerships.

“But at the same time, it puts a spotlight on the talents of Filipino athletes. So I think it means that they understand that there’s a lot of talent here and that they can get a winning team joining EWC by looking at Filipino athletes.”

Jab Escutin on AP.Bren's Partnership with Team Falcons
Falcons AP.Bren (left) and Team Liquid ECHO (right) take a photo together at the end of the MPL PH S13 grand finals. Both teams will be representing the Philippines in the Mid Season Cup held during the Esports World Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo from MOONTON Games)

Of course, a side effect of this is that we lose a bit of identity as a big international org takes over a smaller, local team. Despite this, Jab believes that this is a healthy direction for Filipino esports.

“Say I don’t own a team and I’ve been planning on getting one for a long time, this gives me a lot of confidence to get into esports. And the more people get into esports, understand how the business side works, and get the confidence to invest in a team, I think it’s a net positive for everybody.”

Banner photo from MOONTON Games.

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