Singapore – The Asia-Pacific leads the world in the most number of esports followers, accounting for 80% of these followers residing in the region. This is according to the latest data from YouGov.

The data also shows that China and the Philippines lead the region in most number of esports followers, accounting for 20% each of the total followers in APAC. This is followed by Indonesia, Vietnam, and Taiwan–each contributing 16% of regional esports followers.

Singapore, despite only contributing to 5% of the regional percentage of esports followers, say they watch on a regular basis, evident with the country’s upcoming hosting of the inaugural Olympic Esports Week.

Meanwhile, the popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game ‘League of Legends’ is the region’s most popular video game, followed by ‘Arena of Valor’ and ‘Honor of Kings’, as well as ‘Call of Duty’, ‘PUBG: Battlegrounds’, and ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’.

Manila, Philippines – BLCKBOX, the official apparel and merchandise division of esports company Tier One Entertainment, has launched its first flagship store in the Philippines located at Quezon City in Metro Manila. 

Said flagship store aims to emulate its online success by pushing the brand as a leading esports fashion brand in the local and global market. The store opened on December 15.

BLCKBOX has been an ever-present fixture in its events, and also in various conventions and gatherings throughout the year, including CONQuest Festival 2022, ESGS 2022, and the Mobile Legends Professional League Philippines (MPL-PH) playoffs among others. 

The launch will include the Day One collection which commemorates the 5th year anniversary of Tier One Entertainment. This collection will be an annual release showcasing the history of Tier One Entertainment and provides an opportunity for the fans to be immersed in the culture and iconic moments of Tier One.

Other fresh drops at the store launch include the SIBOL 2022 line, a new BLCK cap, and the MLBB Championship Jersey. The launch will also feature a freedom wall where fans can leave words of encouragement for Blacklist International’s Mobile Legends team before they compete at the M4 World Championship.

Tier One’s first merch offering dates back to Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) 2019, where they released their first limited collection called the ‘FIRST DROP’, which paved the way for a new business venture for Tier One Entertainment. 

In June 2021, BLCKBOX marked its official launch in the e-commerce space through Lazada and Shopee. This established BLCKBOX’s presence as a new gaming lifestyle brand, providing fans with high-quality fashion items for gamers.

Tier One recently unveiled its Web3 incubator programme ‘ALLIANCE’, as well as partnering with Bent Pixels Asia to help creators develop monetisation strategies.

Singapore – Top game developers Ubisoft and Riot Games have recently announced ‘Zero Harm in Comms’, a technological partnership that aims to enhance the reach of their artificial intelligence-based solutions in order to prevent harmful player interactions. The project aims to develop a cross-industry shared database and labelling ecosystem for in-game data that will improve the training of AI-based preemptive moderation tools for detecting and mitigating disruptive behaviour.

The ‘Zero Harm in Comms’ research project will allow both companies to explore how to lay the technological foundations for future industry collaboration and create the framework that guarantees the ethics and the privacy of this initiative. It is expected that the resulting database should cover every type of player and in-game behaviour with their competitive games and diverse portfolio, in order to better train Riot Games’ and Ubisoft’s AI systems.

According to the active members of the Fair Play Alliance, Ubisoft, and Riot Games, the creation of safe and meaningful online experiences in games can only come from collective action and knowledge sharing. As such, this initiative builds on both companies’ larger journey of developing gaming structures that foster more rewarding social experiences while avoiding harmful interactions.

Yves Jacquier, executive director of Ubisoft La Forge, observed that, “Disruptive player behaviours is an issue that we take very seriously but also one that is very difficult to solve.”

Wesley Kerr, head of technology research at Riot Games, also mentioned, “Disruptive behaviour isn’t a problem that is unique to games – every company that has an online social platform is working to address this challenging space. That is why we’re committed to working with industry partners like Ubisoft who believe in creating safe communities and fostering positive experiences in online spaces.”

Jacquire added, “At Ubisoft, we have been working on concrete measures to ensure safe and enjoyable experiences, but we believe that, by coming together as an industry, we will be able to tackle this issue more effectively. Through this technological partnership with Riot Games, we are exploring how to better prevent in-game toxicity as designers of these environments with a direct link to our communities.”

The ‘Zero Harm in Comms’ research project, which is still in its early stages, is the first step in an ambitious cross-industry project that aims to benefit the entire player community in the future. As part of the first research exploration, Ubisoft and Riot have committed to sharing the initial phase of the experiment’s learnings with the entire industry next year, regardless of the outcome.

Kerr said, “This project is just an example of the wider commitment and work that we’re doing across Riot to develop systems that create healthy, safe, and inclusive interactions with our games.” 

Singapore – Insurance company FWD Group has appointed ONE Esports to drive the gaming and esports vertical of FWD’s flagship lifestyle app Omne, aiming to change the way the esports community feels about insurance.

The partnership will span across Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam, deepening FWD Group’s reach and engagement within the gaming and esports community in Asia.

Omne is a new mobile app by FWD Group that empowers individuals with a unique set of value propositions centred on personalised goal-based journeys to help bring the best out of them. The app is also designed to help people celebrate living and empower micro-habits for everyday success.

As part of the partnership, ONE Esports will run an integrated marketing campaign aimed at boosting awareness and promoting the download of Omne. The campaign will see collaborations with popular gaming personalities and promotional content that will be amplified through ONE Esports’ digital channels.

In addition, ONE Esports will also produce exclusive experiences and contribute gaming and esports content, such as articles and videos, to be hosted on the app. These experiences include interviews with professional esports athletes, as well as a mini content series that gets up close and personal with esports personalities.

Troy Barnes, group chief transformation officer at FWD Insurance, said, “Our flagship mobile app, Omne, reflects our vision of changing the way people feel about insurance by anticipating their lifestyle needs. Asia’s increasingly digital and mobile population is one of the fastest growing regions in terms of esports audiences – a clear sign that esports is pushing into the mainstream. We’re excited by the possibilities to scale up our partnership with ONE Esports and build brand affinity with the passionate esports community in Asia.”

Meanwhile, Carlos Alimurung, CEO at ONE Esports, commented, “ONE Esports and FWD launched a successful partnership last year, and we are thrilled to expand the scope this year. Working with them on their Omne app avails more opportunities for us to create better fan experiences and grow the esports ecosystem across Asia.”

He added, “It is great to see FWD, an internationally renowned brand, doubling down on its focus and investments in esports, and we are honoured to be the platform of choice for their efforts to deepen engagement with the community.”

The Philippines – MARKETECH APAC‘s What’s NEXT returns this year with a stronger push to bring the industry together through a variety of knowledge-sharing activities. MARKETECH APAC will continue to feature thought-leadership articles written by renowned marketing leaders to cover various marketing areas, as it did last year.

With MARKETECH APAC‘s ongoing push to create relevant video content, we will gather the best in the industry this year and sit down with them to discuss how marketers can prepare for the upcoming year of marketing opportunities and challenges.

On November 3, 2022, What’s NEXT 2023 will kick off with a regional webinar, What’s NEXT: Events in Asia Pacific, in collaboration with event tech platform, Hubilo. On November 8, in partnership with influencer marketing platform Vamp, another regional webinar, What’s Next: Influencer Marketing in APAC, will be held.

True to its mission of creating a well-connected marketing community in Asia Pacific, What’s NEXT 2023 concludes with a two-day hybrid conference, What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific, on February 21-22, with at least 120 physical attendees in Manila and 1,500 virtual attendees from various markets in Asia Pacific.

The conference will spark offline and online discussions about digital, e-commerce, customer engagement, CX, esports, research, B2B, metaverse, and other relevant topics that will help marketers future-proof marketing strategies.

MARKETECH APAC’s What’s NEXT 2023 will be a go-to platform for checking out the marketing industry’s new trends, opportunities, and challenges to be explored in the region through this holistic approach.

Keep an eye on our website and social media pages for updates on the hybrid conference.

Please contact Joven Barceñas at [email protected] if you are interested in becoming a partner.

Manila, Philippines — Philippine-based telecommunications giant, Smart Communications, has been named as the telco partner for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) tournament with MSC or MLBB Southeast Asia Cup for the fifth year. The tournament will be held in the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre from June 11 to 19, 2022.

The competition boasts a US$300,000 total prize pool, which doubled from last year. Aside from the cash prize, the winners will also be hailed as the undisputed champions of Southeast Asia. Smart’s very own esports team, Smart Omega, is the defending MSC champion and will participate in the tourney to defend their crown.

Meanwhile, RSG Philippines and Smart Omega will carry the flag and compete against the top 12 teams from the region; specifically Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Myanmar.

Smart will enable mobile gamers and fans to support the Filipino esports athletes and catch them in all their matches by streaming the MSC Tournament on Smart’s official Facebook Page, aside from Mobile Legends: Bang Bang’s official social media channels.

Smart’s support for MSC is in line with its longstanding push to promote Philippine esports and cultivate the passion, skill, and talent of Filipino esports athletes and mobile gamers.

Aside from organizing the country’s biggest esports events and backing Filipino esports athletes, Smart supports gamers with the recent launch of Smart GIGA Arena, the country’s first all-in-one esports platform that aims to simply bring the total esports experience to mobile gamers who are looking to test their skills on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and more.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Malaysia’s digital entertainment service enabler, UniPin, has been appointed by Moonton, a Chinese video game developer and publisher, to be its official regional esports partner for the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Cup Tournament, MSC 2022.

Through the partnership, UniPin will be providing an opportunity for MLBB fans to attend the Grand Finals of the MSC 2022 by offering a fully paid trip for three days and two nights in Kuala Lumpur, including a Gold Tier ticket for the Grand Finals itself. 

From 27 May to 19 June, UniPin will also be offering prizes such as cashback MLBB in-game prizes and Epic hero skins. It will also be hosting some fun activities at its booth in MSC 2022, where participants can win even more prizes and exclusive merchandise.

Stella Soh, UniPin Malaysia’s commercial director, said that UniPin and Moonton’s partnership is based on the same vision to support the growth of the esports ecosystem in Southeast Asia, which can be done by forming and running various activities and tournaments.

“We’re delighted to partner with Moonton Games in MSC 2022 as we share the same passions and values. UniPin is committed to developing grassroots opportunities and supporting the community. It is also UniPin’s vision to make our service accessible to all gamers no matter what location, demographic or socioeconomic status especially in Southeast Asia and other emerging countries,” added Soh.

Meanwhile, Adrian Cher, head of regional sales at Moonton, believes that the collaboration with UniPin will provide avenues for their fans to catch MSC 2022 in action as they celebrate esports #SupremaSEA in the best possible way by once again hosting a large-scale live stage event.

“This tournament serves as the regional platform for MLBB players and fans to gather and celebrate the best talent across Southeast Asia. UniPin’s commitment is in line with our vision to help drive growth and sustainability within the esports ecosystem, and we are thrilled to work closely together with them to bring the action even closer to our fans,” said Cher.

Philippines – Bent Pixels Asia (BPA), a joint venture between Bent Pixels and Hepmil Media Group to empower esports and gaming creators in Asia to efficiently operate and scale their earnings on YouTube, has partnered with Tier One Entertainment, the Philippines’ gaming and esports entertainment talent and entertainment company, to help creators accelerate their revenue from YouTube reserved media offerings, as well as grow their capabilities as creators in producing quality content to engage their audiences.

The partnership officially marks the expansion of BPA in the Philippines. This will bring its total network of premium gaming and esports YouTube creators to over 400 from the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, US, and European markets, enabling advertisers to potentially reach over 300 million subscribers.

Through the partnership with BPA, Tier One Entertainment’s creators will be offered to advertisers as part of YouTube Reserved Media deals, which offers brands to secure sought-after ad spaces instead of via auction. Creators can potentially unlock opportunities to uplift their YouTube revenue via access to branded content deals and access to premium tools.

Moreover, BPA will be offering creator development programmes for Tier One Entertainment’s talents who have YouTube channels to help them grow their reach and subscriber base, by offering workshops, best practices, and tools that will help creators strategise, analyse, and execute compelling video content. It will also provide creators troubleshooting support for issues faced by Tier One Entertainment’s creators on their respective YouTube channels.

Karl Mak, CEO and co-founder of Hepmil Media Group, commented they are thrilled to be partnering with Tier One Entertainment and its creators to offer advertisers more brand-safe advertising options targeting a highly engaged group of audiences in one of the fastest-growing esports markets globally. 

“We believe that with our expertise and strength in providing premium reserved inventory, we will be able to help creators within Tier One Entertainment unlock new monetisation opportunities, especially in uplifting their earnings from their video content, as well as helping them build a sustainable earning strategy in their content creation journey through tools and resources that offer them the insights and know-how to grow their presence,” said Mak.

Meanwhile, Tryke Gutierrez, CEO and co-founder of Tier One Entertainment, said that they are excited to be partnering with the Hepmil Media Group and Bent Pixels Asia to give more creators the opportunity to turn their dreams into careers. 

“We’ve been saying for years – since Tier One was founded, one of our main goals is to open doors for aspiring creators, for gamers with big dreams, and we strongly believe that our partnership with Bent Pixels Asia is going to help us fulfil that goal,” added Gutierrez.

Philippines — Players and fans of the widely popular mobile game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang can now unleash their skills and take it to the next level as Smart kicks off a series of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Street League tournaments on its all-in-one esports platform, GIGA Arena at

The tournament will run from May to December, and the series of tournaments are open to all players at all skill levels, giving participants a chance to win from a Php 50,000 prize pool.

Interested players need to create an account on the dedicated website for the tourney, and avail of any GIGA GAMES promo to earn tickets that will be used to register for the tournaments. The first wave of registration was open last May 27 for the first open qualifiers that happened on May 28. For succeeding tournaments, interested players must visit the dedicated website for the tournament (

Smart GIGA Arena’s series of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang tournaments is in line with its long-standing support for Philippine esports to cultivate the passion, skill, and talent of Filipino gamers.

Aside from organizing the country’s biggest esports events and backing Filipino esports athletes, Smart also supports gamers with relevant data offers and services, such as the enhanced GIGA Games, a data-packed offer that enables Filipinos to play their favourite games, such as Mobile Legends.

Smart subscribers enjoy levelled-up gaming experiences powered by the fastest 5G mobile network according to Ookla, the mobile and broadband network intelligence.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – A one-of-a kind esports hotel has been launched in Malaysia, offering distinct hospitality experience for both gamers and non-gamers alike. The SEM9 Senai Esports Hotel, located in the town of Senai, Johor in Malaysia, boasts luxurious rooms fitted with the latest in technological facilities. 

Developed and built by Southeast Asia SEM9 esports organisation and backed by SEAGM & Aiken Digital, SEM9 Senai aims to bring a brand new concept gaming/esports field. The hotel is a 3-minute walk from the Senai International Airport.

“SEM9 Senai proffers the ultimate in comfort, marrying form and function to meet the toughest of needs of not just the best esports teams worldwide, but also to cater to guests of all kinds with a bevvy of gaming and non-gaming rooms,” said Tommy Chieng, chairman of SEM9.

Gaming rooms are decked with LED lights to match the vigour with which gamers ooze, whether it’s for a team of two or more. The hotel also provides ultra high-performance gaming computers powered by the latest Nvidia graphics, comfortable gaming chairs, and gaming peripherals. Most especially, the entire hotel is fitted with high-speed broadband and mobile internet access, be it via WiFi or cable. 

There are also rooms designed especially for mobile gamers and fitted with the latest PlayStation 5, together with their DualSense wireless controllers. Moreover, gamers can gear themselves up with the SEM9 Senai’s Merchandise Zone featuring exclusive SEM9 apparel, esports team jerseys, and collectables. 

SEM9 Senai’s gaming rooms are available to book now on its website and will be opening to the public on 1st June 2022 with 122 rooms, including non-gaming rooms.