Pilipinas E-Sports Organization (PESO), the National Sports Association for esports in the country recognized by the Philippine Olympic Committee, recently formalized a partnership with Pillar Digital E-Commerce, Inc., the parent company of Mineski Philippines, to officially accredit Mineski’s Youth Esports Program (YEP) as one of PESO’s flagship activities in 2021 to promote the growth of esports among its local stakeholders.
YEP is an initiative by Mineski and the Philippine Collegiate Champions League that promotes responsible gaming among young people and brings co-curricular esports programs to schools nationwide. YEP also recognizes chapter organizations within universities, organizes the National Interschool Cyber League (NICL), and hosts regular YEP talks for YEP Chapters to come together to compete, learn, and have fun within the program.
As one of PESO’s key programs in the coming year, the association will promote YEP as a training program for future esports athletes, introducing and endorsing it to schools that might want to formally join the program. YEP will also be endorsed to the International Esports Federation as an example of a commendable esports program for the youth.
Meanwhile, Mineski will assist PESO member organizations in tapping YEP member schools to promote their future events and activities, as promote collaboration with PESO member organizations for joint esports initiatives.
“The Philippines has a vast pool of talent that has the potential to succeed in esports. The partnership between PESO and YEP will put a grassroots program in place that nurtures young talent and engages stakeholders to drive the growth of esports in the country. With the right infrastructure and programs in place, we hope that more young Filipinos will see the potential of esports, from opportunities to participate in high-level competition and cultivate the discipline of an athlete to considering pursuing a career within the large, growing ecosystem of the esports industry,” said PESO Board Member and Mineski Global CEO Ronald Robins.
Most recently, esports has been announced as an official medal event in the Asian Games in Hangzhou in 2022. The team behind YEP notes that this can be motivation to further develop the grassroots program.
“Filipinos have fared well in past global competitions, and with esports becoming an official sport within larger platforms, we hope that more young people will see the potential of bringing together what they love with the discipline and rigor of competing at the highest levels. We know that the next champion could be from anywhere, and YEP will cast a wide net by engaging colleges and universities, as well as student organizations, to drive the growth of esports in the Philippines,” stated YEP Program Director Marlon Marcelo.
To date, YEP has a network of over 200 schools all over the Philippines, which means its wider reach could present more opportunities in esports. Beyond organizing competitions, YEP regularly engages its members on such topics as esports careers, esports industry stories, and the benefits of responsible video gaming.
“We recognize that many students are passionate about the games that they love to play. We also want to help the youth who will consider a career in esports as a result of our efforts to develop the right foundation and develop more holistically by encouraging the right balance between esports, their academics, and other pursuits,” shared Marcelo.
YEP also aims to engage schools in integrating esports into the curriculum, from establishing varsity teams to introducing esports-focused courses.
“When schools recognize the value of esports, there is a greater chance for us to provide more structure and guidance to young minds. The academe and esports are not opposing forces but complementary, and can work together to ensure holistic development,” said Robins.