Philippines TV to broadcast Unity League, a grassroots esports competition

People’s Television Network (PTV), a government-owned broadcaster in the Philippines, is set to embark on an exciting venture by launching the Unity League—a grassroots esports league. The primary objective of this league is to cultivate and nurture exceptional esports talents who can represent the Philippines as part of Team Sibol, the national esports team.

The inaugural season of the Unity League will feature an exhilarating nationwide Mobile Legends: Bang Bang tournament. What makes this tournament even more special is that it is open to all government units, including provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays, as defined by the Philippines’ Local Government Code of 1991. So, players from various regions across the country will have the opportunity to showcase their skills and compete for glory in this highly anticipated event.

Start of Unity League

The technical and operational aspects of the tournament will be overseen by the Philippines Esports Organisation (PESO), a non-profit organization based in Mandaluyong City. PESO is supported by Smart Communications and consists of multiple esports companies, including Bren Esports, Tier One Entertainment, and others, who have joined forces under one banner.

PESO is not only recognized as a National Sports Association (NSA) by the International Esports Federation (IESF) but also holds membership in the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

The Unity League’s inaugural season will kick off with Mobile Legends: Bang Bang as the featured game title. However, Marlon Marcelo, PESO’s executive director, has expressed plans to expand the league in future seasons by including other esports categories like League of Legends, Dota 2, VALORANT, and Tekken.

Initially, the Philippine Television Network (PTV) announced a prize pool of ₱1 million (~£14,000), with half of the amount going to the first champions of the Unity League.

However, Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Speaker for the Philippines House of Representatives, has announced his commitment to increasing the prize pool offered by PTV. He stated, “We aim to inspire all our stakeholders, so we are raising the stakes. The champion will now receive two million pesos, the runner-up will receive one million pesos, and the third-place team will receive half a million pesos.”

Team Sibol won seven gold medals

One of the primary goals of the tournament is to identify skilled players who can represent Team Sibol in the Southeast Asia Games, which have been featuring esports events since 2019. Team Sibol has achieved remarkable success, securing a total of seven gold medals to date. Romualdez emphasized that the Unity League should not be seen as a mere competition.

Instead, it offers a platform to showcase one’s abilities, represent local communities, and be part of something greater than oneself. It presents an opportunity to be at the forefront of an exciting and emerging field, potentially becoming national esports athletes under Team Sibol, and contributing to the country’s success on the international stage.

The inaugural season of the Unity League will include regional qualifiers, open to any Filipino aged 18 or older. Registration for these qualifiers will be conducted in February and March, with specific dates varying based on the region.

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