MANILA -- Big names in local basketball were present at an esports event dedicated to enrich the grassroots scene -- just as the professional gaming scene is starting to pick up in the Philippines.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, vice chairman Bobby Rosales, and newly-appointed Gilas executive adviser Alfrancis Chua were among the guests in Dark League Studios' press conference unveiling plans to legitimize the amateur esports scene through its tournaments and future events.
For Chua, whose kids are esports aficionados, it's a way to give back to them.
"They come to me to play and watch basketball. Every time sa house naglalaro sila [and out of curiousity, I ask] 'ano ba yan' so in-introduce sa 'kin ng anak ko na they want to do this so I will support them because they support me also," Chua told ABS-CBN News at the sidelines of the Dark League Studios press conference.
In fact, his son Marc secured tickets to the world's biggest Dota2 international tournament in Singapore.
At the event, organizers provided a roadmap of their plans, including a national amateur esports tournament set for September.
The league, dubbed King's League, aims to fill gaps in esports' growth such as putting the spotlight on smaller gaming communities and titles, among others, while promoting responsible gaming -- which PBA's Rosales said was overlooked in esports' growth.
Like Chua, Rosales' son urged him to learn more about esports. He said the league is perfect in addressing the issues and myths the industry is facing.
Rosales also believes that professional basketball players play a huge role in legitimizing the industry.
"Even basketball players you see them playing these video games and it's a good they can be sort of influencers also. They are promoting the game. Many younger generation you know idolize basketball players so when they see them play also they could contribute also to addressing properly esports because they will have credibility," Rosales said in a panel interview with reporters.