The next stop on the League of Legends World Tour takes us to the Republic of the Philippines. Composed of over 7,000 islands in the Pacific southwest, the Philippines is home to diverse cultures, breathtaking tropical scenery and some of the fastest growing League of Legends communities in the world!
Filipino gamers already counted MOBA games among some of their favorites at the time League of Legends launched in January of 2011. Even with many other titles in the genre to choose from, however, these enthusiastic players seemed to take an immediate liking to game. In the first year following release alone, League of Legends populations in the Philippines doubled 5 times over! As one local summoner put it, “League of Legends is not a game. It’s a lifestyle!”
The Philippines is home to one of the most extensive PC café networks in the world. Extremely popular amongst players in this region, PC cafés can sometimes be found on every street corner in major cities. Even the smallest of municipalities or towns usually boasts at least one of these popular gaming destinations. As extremely social gamers, Filipino summoners can develop strong ties to their preferred gaming venues, often visiting other cafés to challenge their home teams for bragging rights. Local tournaments are also commonplace, and some PC cafés even set up large displays to showcase these showdowns to the rest of their patrons.
In addition to their passion for competition, Filipino summoners are also particularly passionate about cosplay, often constructing extremely elaborate costumes to show their enthusiasm for their favorite titles. Some cosplayers – such as Ayumi Kassinique, pictured below sporting an epic Katarina cosplay – even rise to celebrity status within the scene! We look forward to seeing even more amazing cosplayers as the popularity of League of Legends in the Philippines continues to increase.
Like many other nations in the region, the Philippines can trace their history in competitive League of Legends all the way back to the Ring of Champions – an invitational tournament hosted during closed beta even began in the region. Since this time, the number of high-profile teams in the Philippines has been steadily increasing. In particular, Bida Gaming and Team Wild have been a dominant force on the national level, and many of their members have become prominent figures in Filipino League of Legends.
Additionally, the Philippines first appearance on the international stage was at the Season One Championship in Jönköping, Sweden, where Team Pacific squared off against the best in the world to represent their home nation. Since that time, Filipino teams have begun making frequent appearances in online tournaments, particularly the Go4LoL cups. Many of these teams seem poised and ready to make the jump to in-person competitions in the near future.
Even with the impressive growth we’ve witnessed in the Philippines this past year, we’re convinced that there’s still a lot to look forward to from these dedicated summoners. We’re excited to see what the Republic of the Philippines will bring to the global community as we go forward in 2012.