Presidential aspirant and international boxing icon Sen. Manny Pacquiao led the launch of an eponymous gaming and esports brand called Team Pacquiao GG in Parañaque City on Saturday.
Team Pacquiao GG (TPGG) is a partnership between Pacquiao and global esports company Veloce as part of its expansion in Southeast Asia.
The tie-up has been in the works since 2020, said Veloce Esports chief development officer Ryan Tveter in a recorded message, adding that it was the first of its kind in the Philippines.
"Our visions are global and for some time, we have been looking for the right opportunity to expand into Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines," he said.
"We approached Manny Pacquiao and his team, with the proper vision of joining forces and create something that has never been done before within Southeast Asia and the Philippines."
Team Pacquiao is also expected to put together activities for major gaming titles such as Wild Rift, Valorant, Call of Duty, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, which Pacquiao has partnered with in the past as an ambassador.
Besides developing professional gamers, making content and producing events and competitions, the brand also plans to do charity work as a way of giving back to fans.
“Our purpose is to become the pound-for-pound esports heavyweights of Southeast Asia through community engagements, professional teams, content creation, and charitable giving,” Pacquiao said in a speech.
Five Filipino gaming creators will be tapped for TPGG: Ghost Wrecker, Superkimbie, Gloco, Een Mercado, and Sh1n Boo, a mix of famed shoutcasters, esports athletes, and philanthropists.
Asked why he ventured into esports, Pacquiao said :"Esports is not just an online phenomenon but also a legitimate growing sports industry in the world with a lot of job and business opportunities.
"As I step away from boxing, I want to continue to give something back to our Filipino people who have given me so much support and love in my career as a boxer."
Pacquiao has entered various sports ventures in the past, among which include basketball and boxing.
His son, Michael, who is set to work on TPGG's future activities, acknowledged he was shocked the pound-for-pound boxer dipped his fists into esports.
"I was shocked. Nagulat ako kasi my dad usually doesn't talk about games. Nagulat ako. [I was like] 'What?' So that was a nice [thing to hear]," Michael said.
TPGG is set to roll out a stream of events related to esports and the activities of their content creators next week.