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ESGS kicks off, lives up to hype on first day

Don Kevin Hapal
ESGS kicks off, lives up to hype on first day
The big turnout on the convention's first day is an indicator of the growth of the local gaming scene

MANILA, Philippines – Gamers who have waited excitedly for the 2016 eSports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) got exactly what they came for in the premier gaming convention’s first day: non-stop game demos and eSports thrills.

As early as 8 am, guests lined up outside the SMX convention center in Pasay City on Friday, October 28 to attend the convention that will last until Sunday, October 30.

“I’ve waited so long for this. Something like this doesn’t happen often here in the Philippines so I’m all hyped up for this,” said John Paul Manahan who came all the way from Cavite yet was one of the event’s earliest guests.

Game and product demos, tournaments, and presentations were happening simultaneously the whole day to every gamer’s delight.

The opening program started at 10 am and jumped off to an exciting League of Legends showmatch, followed by various presentations from exhibitors and sponsors. As a special guest, eSports advocate and senator Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino also spoke at the event about the local gaming scene, which has been growing year after year. ESGS itself as well as other big, internationally recognized gaming events like Manila Major and ESL One Manila have been potent indicators of the burgeoning eSports and gaming scene in the Philippines. 

Guests trying out a demo of 'Bayani,' a Filipino-made fighting game by Laguna-based Ranida Games. Photo by Don Kevin Hapal

Game overdose

Guests of ESGS wouldn’t be coming home without getting an overdose of gaming demos.

From big gaming companies like Sony and Bandai to indie game developers, there was certainly no shortage of new things to try at ESGS.

Guests were able to play NBA2K17 at the Sony PlayStation booth. Photo by Michaela Nadine Pacis.

Sony PlayStation brought with them some of their biggest games this year: Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare, NBA2K17, and Final Fantasy XV. Media guests were also given a rare chance to try out Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare‘s Jackal mode on PlayStation VR and a demo version of the much-awaited The Last Guardian.

Bandai Namco Entertainment’s booth meanwhile featured demos of Tekken 7, Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, and Little Nightmares.

Bandai Namco brought some of their newest titles: Tekken 7, Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, and Little Nightmares. Photo by Don Kevin Hapal

Capcom gave a sneak peek of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Photo by Don Kevin Hapal

For those looking for some halloween thrill, Capcom brought their flesh-eating friends with them for Resident Evil: Biohazard

Indie games also got a share of the spotlight at the Indie Arena while members of the Game Developers Association of the Philippines also got to showcase their wares.

Guests playing 'Xandata,' a Filipino-made first-person shooting game by Secret 6. Photo by Don Kevin Hapal

But ESGS wouldn’t be ESGS without eSports fun.

PlayBook’s Brawlfest kicked off with the first batch of Tekken 7 pools as a prelude to a flurry of other fighting game competitions the next day.

PlayBook hosts 'Brawlfest' for the fighting game community. Photo by Don Kevin Hapal

Simultaneous Dota 2, League of Legends, and CS:GO tournaments were also held on the floor.

For three days, the SMX convention turns into gamer paradise – with all the merchandise one needs to satisfy their inner geek. Toys, comic books, shirts, costumes, board games, and gaming gear – you name it, they have it!

ESGS is also merch-heaven, with toys, merchandise, costumes, comic books and more! Photo by Don Kevin Hapal

The best part? It’s still just day one!

Click here to check out what’s still waiting for you at ESGS. Follow Rappler Gaming League on Facebook for live updates! –

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Don Kevin Hapal

Don Kevin Hapal is Rappler’s Head of Data and Innovation. He started at Rappler as a digital communications specialist, then went on to lead Rappler’s Balikbayan section for overseas Filipinos. He was introduced to data journalism while writing and researching about social media, disinformation, and propaganda.