Things have gone a looooong way since PacMan.
That steady bloop-bloop-bloop that was the staple in most Jurassic-era PCs was the bane of every workstation, where tasks halted to give way to tinny electronic music and that iconic eerie green light.
Now, the phenomenon of computer gaming has evolved into forms that had once been inconceivable when that little guy with a voracious appetite for green dots graced the PC screens.
Now, it’s not anymore creating strategy that is just basically hide-and-seek with electronic ghosts. Thanks to the boom in the computer and information tech, computer gaming is no longer a player vs computer affair. There’s PVP (possible with a stable internet connection), and now team vs team. The phenomenon of computer gaming practically BROKE the world wide web and created its own jargon (MOBA vs MMORPG, anyone?)
You can hear now gamers explaining the finer points of League of Legends vs Warcraft, with people earning MILLIONS by trading avatars and items.
It’s a virtual gold mine (pun intended).
And it gets better. Now, you can tell your mother that you don’t have to get your fat ass of the couch and out of that basement. You can actually earn from simultaneously trash-talking a random stranger online and thinking of ways to crush their base.
Computer gaming has gone a looooong way since PacMan.
And so, of course, the inevitable happened.
With the gaming industry growing by leaps and bounds, it has provided lucrative opportunities for the community in general. The evolution and flexibility of gaming tech merely gave gamers and potential gamers additional platforms for their passion. Not only are gamers given a chance to flex their virtual skills, the exponential development of online gaming has also provided the community with an opportunity to actually earn from their hobby.
So, move aside professional athletes.
The avenue is now ripe for the professional gamer.
Welcome to the world of e-sports.
Jobancom E-Sports is one such organization that invests in developing a pool of gamers dedicated to honing their skills in their respective roads to professional gaming.
“We are one of the active organizations that are into e-sports,” Jobancom general manager Christine Danlag tells DNX.
But, Christine emphasizes, Jobancom is “more than just an event organizer”.
“Our aim is to build a harmonious community for all gamers. We organize e-sports events to unite all gamers, thus our tagline ‘Gamers united’,” she says.
E-sports, she says, is a “new era of gaming” where, instead of a physical arena, competitions are mainly done via a virtual platform, using online modes through gadgets, LAN, mobile devices, or gaming consoles. It expands gaming opportunities through the holding of online tourneys, usually played as a multiplayer, individually or as teams.
E-sports are done in pretty much the same way as traditional sports, with sponsors and prize money awaiting winners. This time, though, the action takes place in the virtual world.
One such opportunity for gamers to unite would come this 2 February, as Jobancom hosts the Mobile Legends 2020 Lunar Tournament during this year’s Bacolaodiat.
The event — in partnership with BCG Premier Store along with Republic of Gamers, and ASUS Philippines — gathers dozens of gamers grouped into five-man teams.
With a prize money of P23,000 cash, plus P30,000 worth of merchandise, the event will be held at the New Government Center – Bacolod.
“This will be one of the major events of the Bacolaodiat,” Christine reveals. As of this writing, Jobancom has gathered 20 teams, but they are eyeing more.
Prizes also await early registrants.
The Bacolaodiat tourney is by no means the last event that Jobancom will be sponsoring. In fact, the doors are just starting to open for the online gaming community.
Christine admits that the members in their community are not the best gamers in the world, not even near the level of professional gamers usually winning those trophies in international events.
She cites two types of players: the casual gamer, and the professional gamer.
Jobancom wishes to groom more of the latter.
Thus, one of the things that are gearing up for would be the boot camp for gamers, where coaches help in the training of the casual gamer to level their skills up to the pro level.
“We are just here to support them,” she emphasizes.
Her dream, she says, is to be able to mold more of the self-sustaining gamer, the gamer who has leveled up to the pro level and who would eventually decide on a career in gaming.
Christine is eyeing the business model in other countries where professional gamers are actually paid to play.
The international gaming industry, she says, is now worth billions of dollars, quite a jump from what it was worth in 2013 when it started getting popular.
But more than just the money, it is also about developing the self.
“We are not the best players in the world, but we are popular among gamers because we are showing a professional attitude towards the sport,” she says.
The values of sportsmanship and ethical behavior are important in the gaming industry. That, coupled with the dedication to create skilled gamers, lends gravitas to Jobancom’s tagline: Gamers united.