By Jeff Mendoza
Gaming has evolved from a social activity, hobby, and source of entertainment to a highly competitive multi-player gaming setup. eSports, or electronic sports, is among the fastest growing industries in the world.
Imagine an arena filled to the brim—a cheering crowd, vibrant lights, and giant monitors for viewing. At the center of that arena is usually a group of gamers—shoulders hunched down, headphones on, most of whom shout expletives in between games. It’s chaotic. It’s competitive. It’s eSports!
2018 was a milestone for the industry—now worth a billion US dollars—reaching 427 million viewers. And it’s predicted to grow even further. Experts are even saying that eSports will be as large as traditional sports, but what does it take to sustain this kind of industry?
Connectivity plays a pivotal role in its success. Gamers need consistent, reliable, and fiber-fast internet to play in high definition and avoid lags in the virtual world. Every millisecond counts. This is especially crucial in the advent of cloud gaming, slated to revolutionize eSports even further.
Cloud gaming allows players to access their favorite games through a subscription-based model, just like Netflix. Players need stable and fast internet, a subscription to an eSports service, and a device of their choice to play on. And since the games are stored in the Cloud, there’s no such thing as taking too much space or memory.
In the Philippines, eSports is on hyper-speed growth. With an escalating number of players, audiences, and businesses venturing into this industry, there has never been a greater need for digital services providers to enable both the gamers and the businesses involved in it.
PLDT & Smart have been firing up on building the infrastructure necessary to make the industry thrive and grow. These components include an expansive network of data centers, global network of data connectivity through diverse submarine cables and nodes, and the largest multi-carrier local peering exchange, which all provide vast improvements in the gamers’ experience.
PLDT currently has over 140 data centers around the world—including ones in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Japan, and Australia—through its Nexcenter partnerships, giving global customers more diversity in terms of connectivity. Locally, ePLDT, has its own network of VITRO Data Centers—10 to be exact—spanning the Philippine archipelago in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Now, gaming companies, developers, and publishers have the power to store their systems and assets securely. Through deployments of local caching nods, via in-country data centers by gaming entities, the speed of access to the myriads of gaming features—most especially in a multi-player setting—are significantly enhanced as data traffic is limited within the same country.
PLDT and Smart have also been aggressively supporting the local industry through the Esports and Gaming Summit—the biggest gaming convention in the Philippines—since 2013. In fact, they even have their own eSports team, the PLDT-Smart Omega, the first champion of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Conference 1 of The Nationals, held last August 2019.
Continuous and aggressive efforts are being placed by PLDT and Smart to show their support to the booming industry of eSports. As more customers enter the industry, it is necessary to have the best kind of digital enablement that only PLDT & Smart can provide. It’s only the start: eSports and gaming are in for a wild ride.
Jeff Mendoza is the Asia Pacific Regional Head for PLDT Enterprise. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.