The year one of the first-ever franchise league, The Nationals is starting off it’s maiden voyage this coming March 24, 2019. It’s going to feature the three biggest games on three platforms, Dota 2 for the PC, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang for the mobile, and Tekken 7 for the PlayStation 4.

The six teams that will compete on it’s first year are

  • Bren Epro
  • Cignal Ultra Warriors
  • HF Emperors
  • PLDT-Smart Omega
  • Suha-XCTN Punishers

The first five teams will participate in all three games spanning March all the way to October of this year with all games played at the Gariath Concepts Studio.

There’s going to be a sixth team joining the first year with STI coming in the tournament this June after the Dota 2 competition.

Each of the contested games will have two conferences in the first season. Each conference will feature a double round-robin group stage and single-elimination playoffs, where winners and the top performers per conference will advance to a season finale later on in the year.

I have witnessed many athletes gleaming with skill and potential drop out of the scene because the infrastructure was not there to support them. There are so many external factors that prevent them from being the best that they can be.

The Nationals Commissioner Ren Vitug is optimistic that the league will be able to provide a platform where talents can be nurtured.

With the aim to not just create another Esports tournament, The Nationals aim to require teams to have players equipped with an adequate training facility, support group that is focused on their development as athletes. Included in the league-mandated team personnel are managers, coaches, fitness trainers, nutritionists, and counselors, to name a few. Enforcing this on a league has never been done in the country, and the league believes that it is a necessary step for athletes to stay on top of the demanding nature of the sport, likewise conforming to international standard.

A lot of people think that being an esports athlete is easy, but players train as long and as hard as athletes would in traditional sports, It is highly competitive, and the dynamics are usually very unstable and ever-changing.

Vitug adds.

As a franchise-based league, The Nationals guarantees the continued existence of teams, providing stability and continuity for the local esports calendar. Now, both athletes and teams have a more actionable goal that does not involve them going all or nothing on international events. With this in place, they can actually have long-term planning and continuity, something not yet present in Philippine esports.

The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) has recognized esports as an official sport last July 2017. This November, the 30th Southeast Asian Games hosted in the Philippines will feature esports as an official medal sport. All three game titles in The Nationals will be featured in the upcoming SEA Games. This guarantees to be a highlight attraction for a country with 70 million of its population being online and 47 million of those being gamers.

PayMaya announced during the media launch that it’s going to partner with the league to be the Official Digital Payments Partner.

The Nationals Official TV broadcast partners ESPN5 through 5Plus on Free TV and Cignal TV through eGG Network and One Sports on Pay TV. Livestreaming on social media will likewise be provided by the league.

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