Esports company to invest P100M in PHL

Ampverse’s Filipino esports team, Minana. — Ampverse/Facebook

Ampverse, an esports and Web3 company based in Singapore, will invest more than P100 million as it expands into the Philippines, its fifth market.

“We love how social Filipinos are, and how passionate they are for gaming,” said Fernando M. Gutierrez, Ampverse chief executive officer (himself a Filipino). “There’s so much talent around gaming in the Philippines.”

The company will focus on four pillars: esports (specifically mobile games), talent, commerce, and Web3 (a decentralized version of the Internet).

“We feel that we can leverage the fact that we have great gaming and esports talent, and translate that into the play-and-earn and play-to-earn space,” he said, adding that one of Ampverse’s team players is set to compete in the equivalent of the world championships for Axie Infinity, a play-to-earn game.

To coincide with its entry into the Philippines, Ampverse has signed an amateur all-Filipino esports team in Mobile Legends, a play-to-earn game popular in Southeast Asia (SEA). The team, which has 11 straight championships under its belt, will play under a new brand, Minana, which means inheritance.

Ampverse intends to build Minana into a lifestyle and gaming brand.

“When we saw that this team had so much promise, winning championship after championship … we said, ‘Why don’t we get a slot and try to get them into the pro league?’ That’s what our vision is: to take the best amateur team we could find to compete in the pro league,” said Mr. Gutierrez

“We believe in grassroots gaming,” he continued, adding that Ampverse will spend “a lot of time” nurturing new talent to continue the tradition of winning. “Our plan is to have development teams in every single market in SEA.”

Julius “Banoobs” Mariano, the “godfather of e-sports and gaming in the Philippines,” has been appointed as Ampverse’s regional expansion manager. A streamer with over 100,000 followers, Mr. Mariano previously worked as country manager Philippines for Twitch, an Amazon-owned video livestreaming service platform.

Ampverse will launch in Indonesia later this year. Founded in 2019, it has offices in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and India.

According to advisory firm Mordor Intelligence, Asia Pacific is the largest and fastest-growing market for esports. Worldwide, the esports market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 20% during the forecast period of 2021 to 2026. — Patricia B. Mirasol