The Philippine government officially recognized esports as real sports. The players are now treated as athletes and can get an athletic license.
The Gaming and Amusements Board (GAB), which is under the Office of the President, will now allow esports players to secure a legitimate athletic license valid in the Philippines.
Ermar Benitez, GAB's chief legal counsel, affirmed that the board started working on this issue since July 2017, to help out teams such as TNC Pro Team and Execration, that participated at The International 7.
TNC at The International 6 and 7
In 2016, TNC Pro Team had problems taking part at The International 6 in Seattle, Washington, US because a P1 visa was indispensable. P1 visa is a type of temporary employment visa, granted to athletes, artists, and entertainers to participate in an event in the US.
TNC asked the help of Sen. Bam Aquino, a famous supporter of esports, and only thanks to him they could take part at the grand Dota 2 tournament. They obtained the top 8 and a prize of $519,262, after defeating strong teams such as OG and VG Reborn in the playoffs.
TNC’s performance was remarkable also at TI7, where they earned the top 12 and a $370,319 prize.
How to get an esports license
Esports athletes looking for a license need vouching from a professional gaming team. The applicants must pay a small fee, pass a drug test, and finally GAB will also look into their track records.
The licenses aren’t limited to Dota 2 players, but are open to any esports.
Source: ABS-CBN - Header image by Julius Mariano