Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

This Filipino salon brand to hold an all-female esports tournament

Philippines — Esports is truly making the waves today with brands from all verticals jumping to the platform. The latest in the Philippines is long-standing salon brand David’s Salon which has signed an agreement with Maharlika Esports League to hold an all-female esports tournament entitled David’s Salon Cup. The competition will be on PUBG: Battlegrounds – a popular online multiplayer game in the shooter genre and will have a ₱70,000 prize pool at stake.

According to the company, their foray into the esports realm is to include female athletes in their vision of the future in the digital arena. David’s Salon has previously supported female athletes, having created an all-female multisport team -Team David’s Salon back in 2005. 

David’s Salon Cup is open to all Filipina residents aged 16 years old and above. The competition will run from April 25 until May 8 and is targeting 1,000 participants in 100 teams from all corners of the country. Registration procedures and the complete details of the tournament will be posted on David’s Salon’s social media channels.

Marketing Featured APAC

dentsu SG remains lead agency of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing GT Cup Asia

Singapore – Continuing in its quest towards expanding its gaming & e-sports offerings, media and digital marketing communications company dentsu in Singapore remains the lead agency of the virtual motorsport competition TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) GT Cup Asia, now on its second consecutive year.

In partnership with automotive brand Toyota Motor Asia-Pacific and e-sports company ONE Esports, the TGR GT Cup Asia 2021 is the first recurring annual e-motorsports tournament that dentsu is launching from Singapore connecting racing and esport fans and gamers across seven Asian markets through a virtual studio, and hosted through the Japanese racing simulation game Gran Turismo.

Through its agency role, dentsu Singapore will deliver the finals of the regional esports tournament taking place on 16 October 2021, which will see 21 racers connecting from India, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Furthermore, the virtual races will be made possible through a server in Tokyo, Japan, working in sync with a virtual broadcast studio in Malaysia. Fans can expect a racing experience just as in any professional motorsports competition. Hosted by race coach and commentator, Alex Yoong, the fan experience will be further enhanced by an exciting pre-show as well as detailed race analysis and commentaries.

Prema Techinamurthi, senior business director for creative group at dentsu Singapore, commented that they are proud to once again partner with Toyota and ONE Esports to achieve never-before experiences in this year’s regional tournament.

“Our team was single-mindedly focused on elevating a brand experience that thoughtfully integrates a virtual racing and viewing platform like no other with inclusive opportunities to engage with and celebrate local communities. We are grateful for the unwavering trust and partnership from Toyota and ONE Esports in bringing this to life,” Techinamurthi stated.

As part of the tournament proper, Asia’s first race car livery design activation led by dentsu has unveiled custom culture-diverse race car designs by renowned local artists from seven participating markets who have taken their own flavor and flair of their local culture based on fan suggestions.

Dentsu said that it remains steadfast in expanding its gaming and esports offering as a key growth pillar, with a portfolio that includes work with Moonton and other international gaming publishers. More recently, dentsu has launched ‘dentsu gaming’, an integrated solution which brings together the extensive gaming heritage and expertise of the dentsu Japan network, with the global scale and specialist capabilities within dentsu international.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Malaysia’s FIGHT Esports teams up with TikTok to bring live gaming events to platform for SEA users

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Global esports organizer Forest Interactive Gaming Habitat Team (FIGHT) and video-sharing app TikTok have partnered to launch TikTok Gaming Ground PH (TikTok GGPH), an esports dedicated account, within the platform. This marks the start of a year-long partnership between TikTok Southeast Asia and FIGHT Esports, which is kicking off with TikTok Philippines.

Through TikTok Gaming Ground PH, the community of Filipino gamers on TikTok can expect a line of live gaming events and tournaments hosted by the official TikTok GGPH account, as well as even more gaming content, shared and compiled by the TikTok PH Gaming Community.

Gaming Operations Manager of TikTok PH, John Castro, commented that the app continues to pursue opportunities to inspire creativity and bring joy to all Filipinos.

“With gaming actively becoming a positive source for community building and enjoyment, we are happy to be doing our part in providing the growing gaming community with a platform for education, positive connections, and interaction,” said Castro.

To inaugurate their partnership, TikTok Philippines and FIGHT Esports are jointly hosting the first-ever #TikTokGGPH Creator Cup Tournament, which will be set within Valorant, a popular first-person shooter game developed by Riot Games. The Creator Cup Tournament will take place on 27- 28 February from 3 pm to 9 pm PST, to be live-streamed on TikTok via @tiktokggphofficial. To raise the stakes, TikTok Philippines is offering a $1,000 prize pool to be awarded to the champion, 1st runner up, and 2nd runner up of the tournament.

FIGHT is the esports arm of mobile platform Forest Interactives, which focuses on tournaments, showcases, and seminars that will help the gaming community. It has already hosted over 80 tournaments in seven countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Taiwan.

FIGHT’s Project Manager Chantal-Denise Ortega said that TikTok is fast becoming a place where people create, share, and enjoy a new type of experience. It really makes a lot of sense for them to leverage the digital entertainment platform to reach the gaming community and give them the opportunity to connect and share their passion with fellow gamers around the world.

“This will create a unique and innovative esports experience where they can follow and engage with their favorite gaming content creators, tune in to esports tournament live streams, as well as celebrate esports in ways that have never been done before,” Ortega added.

The TikTok app is also holding a video campaign for the official #TikTokGGPH launch, starting from 12 to 28 of February. Users may upload videos that capture their gaming style and must use the hashtag #TikTokGGPH. At the end of the campaign period, 20 creators will be selected to become part of TikTok’s community of gamers, based on the level of passion for gaming and creative potential seen in their videos.

Platforms Featured APAC

AdColony wins sponsorship deal with Mobile Legends through game consultancy partnership

Singapore – Mobile ad platform AdColony has announced that it has struck a sponsorship deal with the popular mobile game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang through a partnership with Mana, a Singapore-based gaming and esports brand consultancy firm.

The partnership entails AdColony to offer brands in Southeast Asia a streamlined approach to sponsorship and advertising in esports alongside their investment in gaming. In addition, brands who wish to amplify its presence with mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) esports can turn to AdColony as a one-stop shop, powered by its comprehensive expertise and offering in in-app advertising.

Furthermore, AdColony’s integrated advertising technology platform allows targeting and retargeting of consumers between esports and gaming properties, meaning brands can reach audiences at multiple different points of the marketing funnel, across different ad types and formats, even bringing e-commerce into play.

For Tom Simpson, SVP at AdColony APAC, their recent sponsorship deal will allow them to be “hyper-focused on connecting brands with consumers across gaming and esports”, noting that “this partnership is an important pillar for 2021.”

“Mobile Legends is one of the key games to unlock the esports market in Southeast Asia. This partnership with Moonton enables us to help brands interact more easily with the growing passionate and engaged mobile esports audience alongside their ongoing investments in broader gaming-focused advertising and communications,” Simpson said.

Such sponsorship deals speak to a larger demand brought by the esports industry nowadays. It is estimated that by 2023, it is expected that the number of frequent viewers of esports worldwide will hit almost 300 million, a vast increase from the 173 million in 2018. In addition, a report by consultancy firm McKinsey addresses the monetary growth in the esports industry as it has gone from $950 million in industry revenue in 2019 to an expected $1.1 billion after 2020.

AdColony notes that mobile tech and handset manufacturers, male grooming, soft drinks, and snacks are the most common and active brands in esports at the moment, and price wars have been prevalent in markets such as Vietnam and Indonesia for premium esports rights, as brands are willing to pay a premium to lock out their competitors for extended periods.

“AdColony aims to simplify this process of esports rights and sponsorships price discovery and sponsorship for brands,” Simpson said, noting that many of these esports sponsorship opportunities get locked out due to competition.

Esports tournaments are still in demand, and have migrated online due to the offset of last year’s pandemic. According to Moonton, the game developer behind Mobile Legends, viewership levels in 2020 have set a record level in Indonesia, peaking at over 2.8 million concurrent viewers with over 67 million hours watched in total. The Philippines MPL also reportedly had a peaked viewership of over 757,000 concurrent viewers and over 21 million total hours watched.

“This partnership with Moonton comes hot on the heels of the news that AdColony and Mana, the Singapore-based gaming and esports brand consultancy firm that connects brands with the gaming and esports industries, has teamed up to help brands simplify the way they can get involved in the global gaming and esports ecosystem”, commented Jamie Lewin from Mana

In November 2020, AdColony also signed an exclusive partnership with global in-game advertising platform, Anzu, to offer Anzu’s market-leading blended in-game advertising solutions across both display and video to brands and agencies in Asia Pacific.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s national esports league ties up with newly launched KALARO

Manila, Philippines – The Philippines has just announced its first grassroots nationwide esports development program on an official launch event January 16, which is to be spearheaded by the country’s national esports league, Philippine National Esports League (PNEL); and with this, locally developed esports platform KALARO has been partnered up to realize upcoming tournaments.  

The collaboration with KALARO comes as physical mass gatherings remain halted amid the pandemic. PNEL will be leveraging the platform in organizing and hosting esports tournaments across the country on a simultaneous and multiple game tournament setup. 

“Virtual tournaments is the major strength of KALARO and we can easily host any number of concurrent PNEL tournaments. Given the country’s potential to become world champions in Esports, we fully support PNEL’s advocacies”, said Jun D. Lasco, Founder of KALARO.

Together with PNEL, the country’s Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will support a Barangay level esports development across the country, or the localized units within the country’s cities. 


KALARO was launched in October last year with a greater aspiration to bring esports closer to the younger generation and making it more inclusive for partner brands.

In an interview with MARKETECH APAC in the segment MARKETECH Experts Up Close, Lasco shared that KALARO hopes to expand its platform outside of the Philippine border.

“KALARO was designed for the needs of the ASEAN market but there is no stopping other non-ASEAN countries from localizing KALARO for their own specific market needs and conditions,” Lasco stated.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

E-sports tech Alpha Tech, Nexgen team up for expansion to PH market

Manila, Philippines – Alpha Tech, a Canada-based e-sports tech company has announced its expansion to the Philippine market, thanks to local-based e-sports entertainment company Nexgen, with which they announced a partnership.

Nexgen, which is based in the province of Cebu in the Philippines, has hosted several tournaments including a mobile tournament called ‘Battle of Truth Tournament’, where Season 1 and 2 had 200 teams registered in each, totaling over 1,200 users.

Through the newly-found partnership, Nexgen will utilize the platform Alpha Tech uses, GamerzArena. Aside from its exclusivity, GamerzArena will also be used in Nexgen’s upcoming events with different universities in the Philippines, as well as different contests with professional streamers and e-sports teams in the Nexgen database.

“We are proud to partner with Nexgen and their current reach in the Philippines will provide us with access to thousands of new users for GamerzArena. Nexgen is also working with many different esports teams and universities and we look forward to showing these organizations our platform and adding them to our umbrella of partners,” said Matthew Schmidt, interim CEO of Alpha Tech.

Meanwhile, Jasper Jay Lataza, CEO of Nexgen, commented, “The goal of Nexgen is to expand e-sports in the Philippines. In partnering with GamerzArena, they will help us further achieve our goal of providing e-sports events for the aspiring gamers. The partnership will help players and teams further showcase their talents in gaming.”