Masters SEA Tour? More games to follow? Faster Internet? These and a lot more were teased during the Manila Masters Press Conference held in Solaire Resort and Casino yesterday evening.
Partnering with ESL for more than a year’s worth of events now, Mineski assures the Filipino Dota2 community that the Masters will show how international-caliber tournaments are supposed to be held, setting a standard for other aspiring organizers to follow. In terms of organizing this prestigious tournament, they have admitted that logistics had been the most difficult aspect of the preparation and execution stage. But they are confident that, with the help of PLDT and Smart, anything related to Internet connectivity would not be a problem for the team. They assured fans that they expect no delays in broadcast, lag or downtime due to connection problems in bringing the games to people’s screens. Additionally, more people would get the opportunity to watch the Manila Masters as it was revealed that the Finals will be aired live in TV5’s Aksyon TV 6PM onwards on Sunday, which will run until the finish of all the games.
To bring the realm of esports closer to a wider audience, Mineski had decided to innovate in terms of their casting. Mineski’s brand of casting has notably allowed audiences who are unfamiliar in Dota feel the hype surrounding the game thanks to their simple terminologies and energetic style. Not only will there be a complete pool of Filipino casters commentating on the game to entice more casual viewers to tune in, there will also be a panel for the Indonesian crowd and the game will also be casted in Thai. This helps fulfill the vision of Mineski Franchise Corporation CEO Ronald Robins, who “want[s] to strengthen Southeast Asia as a whole.” Bridging the language barrier in the multi-language streams would indeed help in strengthening the region.
In addition, it was revealed in that the Masters will not simply be a one-time thing. At the very least, the Masters will be held Annually, and they have hinted at bringing the Masters in a Southeast Asian tour, bringing together the best teams in the region to compete against each other, and giving the more underexposed teams in SEA more opportunities to rise to the occasion.
In terms of talent development, Robins said that the Masters will also improve the quality of our events, through giving our local talents, here and in our neighboring SEA countries, more opportunities to showcase their skills in front of the camera (or behind the microphone). It also gives the younger talents the much needed interaction with the veterans from the American and European regions. I personally believe that exposing the local audience to our very own talents working side-by-side with the usual faces they see in Valve events will allow them to recognize that our local talents are just as good as the veterans. To add to that, this will encourage aspiring talents even more to pursue their dreams.
Asked whether or not they plan to expand Mineski Events Team’s reach to other games, Mineski said that it’s only a matter of time before other games would reach the scale that Dota2 enjoys right now. But games need to reach a very specific requirement that is needed before they can be considered to be an arena-level event. They refused, however, to reveal what games they are planning to expand on in the future.
In the end, the penultimate goal of the Manila Masters is to elevate the level of gaming to that of traditional sports, which they believe will come inevitably soon. They also hope to show the mainstream audience, especially to the parents, that there really is something to be had in the realm of esports. The Masters will hopefully help in removing the image of gaming as just simply being a distraction, but as a legitimate career option.
Perhaps the $250,000 (~Php12,500,000) prize pool would help change the minds of those who doubt esports, especially if crowd favorite Clutch Gamers would take home the top prize of $125,000 (~Php6,250,000). But for that to happen, they’ll first have to get past Invictus Gaming on their matchup today, at 2:05PM. Just as hungry for a win now more than ever, as winning this LAN tournament might just be anyone’s ticket to The International, teams OG, NP, Secret, Newbee, EG and Faceless will also be contending in this contest.
Who would be the very first Manila Masters? We shall know this coming weekend.
Neutral has been playing video games since he was a little kid. He started being competitive when he and his brother would bet favors for each other depending on who wins at the PS2 game Naruto Shippuuden. Recently he has been playing Dota2 and Animal Crossing on his revived 3DS. It is his dream to be part of the formation of the eSports version of UAAP through UP Gaming Guild’s Impetus Intercollegiate Dota2 League.
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