Friday, August 21, 2020

Cebuana Lhuiller joins esports, supporting Onic Esports for the MPL Season 6.


  Pro esports team ONIC Philippines is making several major changes, both on and off the mobile screen, as it readies for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) Season 6.

  Barely a year old, the team quickly made a name for itself when it placed first-runner up twice in a row for MPL-PH, the national qualifier for the world championship, in Seasons 4 and 5, a feat no one expected from the newcomer. 

  The team has also bested regional esports bets when it won the championship at the Mytel Myanmar COVID-19 Charity Tournament organized by Moonton for Southeast Asia in April.

“We are hungry. ONIC PH made it close to the top spot in the Philippines twice in a row now. Instead of being satisfied with getting first runner up twice, which is an amazing accomplishment given the more legacy teams we are up against; we have been practicing harder than ever.” - Louie Cacho, ONIC PH Head of Business Development.

“We also made different changes to our gameplay, team strategy, and the organization itself, and we are looking forward to seeing how these changes will pay off in the upcoming Season 6.” - Cacho added.

  Despite their relative new-kid-in-town status, ONIC PH secured a landmark sponsorship from Cebuana Lhuillier in June. It will be the first time Cebuana Lhuillier, the microfinancial services company, will sponsor an esports team.

  ONIC PH Country Manager Raff Sanchez shares that the tie-up with Cebuana Lhuillier means the financial services platform will be among the earliest adopters to take an active role in the development of esports among leading Filipino companies.

  Both Sanchez and Cacho also share that one of the great aspects about the team is how many of the individual players are already highly talented on their own, and cultivating their own following. 

  To sustain the team’s growth as an organization, ONIC recently onboarded Louie Cacho as the team’s Head of Business Development in the Philippines. For the 21-year old, whose background is in the FMCG industry, the new position is a fundamental career shift. He will be joining Sanchez who is 23 years old.

  According to a recent study by Google and market researcher Niko Partners, Asia remains a top destination for esports. For mobile esports specifically, the report indicates the industry generated $19.5 billion in global revenue in 2019, with 68% ($13.3B) coming from Asia alone.

  Even as the global economic slowdown due to the pandemic postponed in-person tournaments, data from Niko Partners shows the popularity of esports has increased, as gamers report spending 50 - 75% more time online.

  In Southeast Asia alone, the study indicated mobile esports surpassed $1.9B in revenue in 2019 and forecasted a 21.1% 5-year compounded annual growth rate for the region.

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