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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Smart named as official telco partner for SEA esports tourney MSC 2022

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.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Digital entertainment enabler UniPin appointed as official regional esports partner for MSC 2022

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.

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Marketing Featured APAC

Bent Pixels Asia ties with Tier One Entertainment to help creators develop monetisation strategies

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.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Smart GIGA arena kicks off MLBB team tournament 

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 gigaarena.smart.

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 (gigaarena.smart/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.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Esports hotel, SEM9 Senai, launches in Malaysia

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. 

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

TM Wholesale, Globe join hands to level up PH gaming and esports services

​Philippines — TM Wholesale, the wholesale arm of Telekom Malaysia (TM), has signed a collaborative agreement with Globe Telecom (Globe), for a nationwide rollout of Globe’s co-branded gaming solution called Globe Gamer Grounds powered by Ember in the Philippines.

The partnership will provide Globe with access to Swarmio’s plug-and-play Ember platform for gaming that will enhance Globe’s gaming and e-sports services and bring it closer to its millions of mobile and broadband end users. Leveraging TM’s established global network and infrastructure ecosystems, the platform enables Globe’s customers to enjoy ultra-low latency gaming experiences with faster download speeds.

As an established digital solutions provider in the Philippines and an enormous provider of telecommunications services, the Globe Group of companies also has a significant presence in various digital solutions businesses, leveraging its substantial customer base, distribution capabilities, and strategic partnerships to establish a footprint that spans numerous industry sectors including fintech, healthcare, entertainment, adtech, e-commerce, manpower, IT services, and venture capital.

Amar Huzaimi Md Deris, EVP of TM Wholesale, stated that they are thrilled to collaborate with Globe as the gaming and e-sports industry is now considered the world’s biggest entertainment industry, with ASEAN gamers dominating the market.

“As a regional operator, TM Wholesale takes pride in making superior gaming experiences accessible to the industry via our wholesale offerings which provide a seamless and high-quality digital experience to users. This collaboration also aligns with our vision to create a more vibrant digital ecosystem throughout the region,” Deris adds.

Meanwhile, Ralph Aligada, head of Globe Games and Esports, shared, “With Globe’s all-in-one gaming platform, the community of gamers will enjoy a seamless and high quality digital experience. We are hopeful that with this agreement, there will be more opportunities and innovative solutions that would benefit our gaming community and users in the country, perhaps even across the region.”

Previously, TM Wholesale and Swarmio Media, a Canada-based gaming and e-sports technology company established a partnership to provide accessible and high-quality digital gaming and e-sports services throughout ASEAN. This partnership with Globe marks a breakthrough in TM’s collaboration with Swarmio Media, enhancing e-sports gaming and levelling up digital experiences for the Philippines and across the region.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SEA esports team Talon unveils partnership with GBeat

Thailand — All kinds of athletes need hydration to fuel concentration in competitive settings. That’s why Talon, a Southeast Asian esports organization, has announced GBeat, an energy drink for gamers in Thailand, as the official energy drink partner of its Arena of Valor (ROV) team.

The partnership will see Talon, the organization and its athletes, promote the new zero sugar brand designed specifically for gamers with co-created content across the team’s social media in Thailand.

Sean Zhang, CEO of Talon Esports, said, “Our players are amongst the best in the world at what they do. Whether it is match day or training during the week, the players require intense concentration and focus for hours on end.”

Zhang continued by saying, “We are delighted to have such an exciting new brand in GBeat fuel the team to ensure they’re at peak performance no matter the occasion. Equally important is being able to share with our fans the things we love. It’s a great tasting product that will enhance the gaming experience of any gamer – whether it’s gaming themselves or cheering on their favourite team or streamer.”

Talon is the current representative of Thailand’s ROV team, sending 5 players to Vietnam at the upcoming SEA Games this May. 

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

HyperLive Entertainment inks strategic partnership with Nova Esports

Singapore — HyperLive Entertainment, a Singapore-based tech-enabled creative media company, has announced a strategic cooperation with Nova Esports, a Hong Kong-based professional esports organisation managing various esports teams. The partnership will see HyperLive Entertainment pilot Nova’s esports program in the region.

The strategic cooperation with Nova will see HyperLive establish a Nova Southeast Asian headquarters in Singapore, which includes plans to build an esports academy in the island nation, produce captivating esports content on its OTT-licensed media platform, HyperLive.tv.

Additionally, the partnership will create an esports team that will compete with the best teams globally in esports tournaments. The intended team name is Nova SG, and Nova SG will be based in Singapore. Further, Nova Esports will offer its experience and expertise as well as provide coaches and training regimes for the academy and its players.

Sean Wong, CEO of HyperLive, said, “We are truly excited about the synergistic partnership with Nova Esports. We have identified esports as a key market that has massive potential for growth in the upcoming years, thus with Nova on board, we are extremely confident that we can achieve incredible breakthroughs in esports.”

Singapore has been a thriving hub for esports events recently and with the support of Nova, more opportunities will arise, creating greater positive impact in the industry. The stage is set for professional esports players with tournaments sprouting both locally and regionally.

There are also further plans in place to expand Nova’s operations regionally to countries such as Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand, where the gaming communities are growing exponentially. There is enormous potential for talent recruitment while at the same time, establishing Nova’s brand equity and market presence.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Smart launches fifth season of all-female esports league via Eplayment Entertainment tie-up

Manila, Philippines – The Philippine-based telco giant Smart has partnered anew with event and tournament organiser Eplayment Entertainment for the fifth season of Liga Adarna, the country’s all-female esports league.

The event has already kicked off last 19 April and will be running until 30 June 2022, with the theme ‘Ikaw Ang Bida’, which in English translates to ‘You are the star’. It will be showcasing once again the skills and strategic gameplays of the country’s top female esports players in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), and for the first time this season, Liga Adarna has also added PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG) in its tournament.

Avid gamers and enthusiasts can watch the games live on the Facebook pages of Liga Adarna, Smart, and SMART Sports.

“The latest season of Liga Adarna is in line with Smart’s long-standing support for the Philippine esports to cultivate the passion, skill, and talent of Filipina gamers,” the telco said.

In March 2022, Smart has also celebrated the launch of its Smart GIGA Arena, an online arcade and esports tournament platform, by hosting an exhibition match last 9 March 2022, which features some of the best Filipino esports players and content creators of MLBB.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Galaxy Racer partners with talent agency TEAM to drive growth of content creators in PH

Manila, Philippines – Dubai-based esports organisation Galaxy Racer has partnered with talent agency Tyronne Escalante Artist Management (TEAM), aimed at opening up new doors for talents, whilst paving the way for Galaxy Racer’s vision to become the largest content powerhouse in the Philippines. 

Through the partnership, TEAM and Galaxy Racer Philippines will mutually support their rosters of content creators to create a new breed of talents. TEAM will support Galaxy Racer’s efforts by providing expertise in acting and training sessions for the gaming content creators, while Galaxy Racer serves as TEAM’s esports and gaming arm to guide film and entertainment artists in expanding their digital presence into the online gaming space, venturing into live streaming games as a way to grow their influence to a wider audience, and solidifying their interaction with fans.

Moreover, Galaxy Racer Philippines is also looking into expanding to collegiate esports by producing grassroots leagues and programs that would support and develop student-athletes, and provide scholarship opportunities through esports.

Mitch Esguerra, Galaxy Racer’s CEO for SEA, noted that the Philippines is a key market for their growth in the region, driven by the explosive growth in the number of content creators and viewers in the market. 

“We are seeing the lines blur between lifestyle and gaming influencers with an increasing demand for live gaming content, where fans are able to engage directly with their favorite content creators. Our entryway into the Philippines is just the beginning of what we have planned for the market and the region and we are excited to contribute to the esports and gaming industry,” said Esguerra.

Meanwhile, Marcia Guillermo, Galaxy Racer’s country manager for the Philippines, said that they value the work that content creators put into their craft, which is why they are constantly seeking opportunities to invest in them in the region and grow their following reach.

“As the esports industry and ecosystem is continuously growing, we are more than excited to have partners that prioritise initiatives to develop talents and provide opportunities that would create a positive impact on all facets of the industry and the community including collegiate esports. This outlook and commitment would definitely position Galaxy Racer to lead for the coming years,” Guillermo added.

Galaxy Racer Philippines is also set to launch its merchandise GXR Limited and music record label GXR Records this year. GXR Limited will release a collaboration collection with Galaxy Racer’s exclusive content creators Kristine Satamena and Tukomi Twins, while GXR Records will kick off by collaborating with local producers to plan for the music release featuring other Galaxy Racer exclusive artists.