It takes more than just players and fans to grow a scene.
Esports has been around for quite some time but only recently, it’s come into the spotlight. As an industry, it’s still quite young and there’s still much to do to build it into a sustainable scene. The MPL PH, along with partners Smart and FWD Life Insurance are up for that task and are already looking at what the future may hold for Philippine esports.
In a recent interview with the MPL PH press, Smart’s Manager for Content Business Development Monique Monasterio, and FWD Life Insurance’s Chief Marketing and Digital Business Officer Rochelle Vandenberghe talked about their commitment to Philippine esports and their goals for its future.
Smart has always been an ally of esports and has been with the MPL PH since 2015. “We try to support our subscriber’s passions and one of those is sports,” says Monique. “Smart has always been a supporter of traditional sports… And there really was a vision that esports, even though it wasn’t taken seriously back then, would be the next big thing.”
Of course, Smart has its own team, Smart Omega, participating in the MPL PH. To them, it’s part of the process of legitimizing the esports scene. “We wanted these gamers to be seen as professional athletes and not how it was back then. We wanted them to be treated seriously as professional athletes in the same league as other sports.”
Monique also mentioned that they are partners with SIBOL, the Philippine national esports team. They also have the Smart Giga Arena, an open tournament event that takes place all over the country. Through these projects, Smart has shown that it’s invested in the growth of esports.
Insuring The Future of Esports Athletes
While it makes sense for a company like Smart to be a part of esports, there needs to be more than just endemic brands if the scene is to mature. That’s where FWD Life Insurance comes in. As the only life insurance sponsor in the entire MPL community, their entrance into esports is a welcome surprise.
“We are not your ordinary type of insurance company,” says Rochelle. “In fact, we are committed to changing the way people feel about life insurance.” She mentions that FWD has always looked for new and interesting ways to bring financial literacy to others. Esports has a young community that can benefit from a better understanding of finances and insurance. FWD is more than happy to provide guidance and to help along the way.
To that end, they have partnered with Moonton Games to provide a special product just for gamers. ‘The One for Gamers’ is a life insurance plan that’s not only easy to understand but also provides Mobile Legends in-game rewards. The goal of this simple gamification is to get younger players thinking about their own well-being and financial future.
FWD’s support does not just stop there. “Apart from insurance coverage, we are also conducting financial planning and financial literacy workshops not just for the players but also for the entire esports ecosystem.” It’s easy to forget that many MPL players are still young, with finances being the last thing on their minds. Esports is more than just the moment, there’s life after it as well and players need to be ready for it for the scene to be sustainable.
“For insurance, the relationship is always long term so we’re here for the long run,” says Rochelle. “This is part of our nation-building approach in ensuring that every Filipino actually has the capacity to understand how to manage their money and be financially protected.”
Even though this is FWD’s first foray into esports, they’re ready to help with the growth of the scene.
Banner photo by Moonton Games.