Whether it's on the hardcourt or the esports arena, the Converge FiberXers are determined to play to win. The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) team owned by telecommunications service provider Converge ICT, the Converge FiberXers have now also drafted gamers who are out to conquer the world of esports.
"Esports has definitely come into a league of its own. It has its own lingo, its own culture, its own self-contained universe that exists just as much in streams and memes as it does in the real world. As the leading sports vehicle in the country, we're very grateful and proud to partner with Converge for PBA Esports. Together, we aim to bridge the gap between two of the most widespread industries in the country today: basketball and gaming; build a shared community of ecstatic basketball and gaming fans; and create fresh and relatable content in a collaborating effort to promote esports in the Philippines," PBA Marketing Director Jo Francisco told Digital Life Asia.
Play to win
Converge FiberXers esports team members Amanda "Hesperia" del Mar, Kin Calvin "Caltzy" Martinez, Raven "L3bron" Alonzo, and Jonmark "Akatzue" Tria took time from their busy schedule to answer questions from Digital Life Asia.
How would they describe themselves as gamers?
Hesperia: "As a girl gamer, I'm hardworking when it comes to understanding how to play a game and winning it. I always put a lot of effort in every game. I love teamwork and create unique gameplays as an individual."
Caltzy: "As a gamer, I play very competitively most of the time and I always try to understand the mechanics of the games I play."
L3bron: "Grind if grind mentality."
Akatzue: "As a gamer, I am very competitive. I play not just for entertainment. I play to become strong, so I'm passionate and dedicated whenever I play games. My goal is to beat top players or my idols on different kinds of platforms."
What was the very first game they played?
Hesperia: "The very first game that I played on a mobile phone is PUBG. On a computer, it had to be Pet Society."
Caltzy: "The first game I played was Final Fantasy and I played it on the PSP."
L3bron: "Counter-Strike. I wasn't a streamer yet."
Akatzue: "The first game I played was DOTA. It is also a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game like Mobile Legends."
Converge for Gamers
How do they feel about being drafted to represent Converge?
Hesperia: "I was happy and excited over the experiences that I will share with my team."
Caltzy: "I am really happy and grateful to represent Converge."
L3bron: "I feel blessed and excited at the same time because I was also eyeing to be part of Converge. And as a mobile gamer, I really want to have a good internet provider and for me, that’s Converge."
Akatzue: "I am so grateful because this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to become part of the first season of PBA Esports Bakbakan. I feel lucky because my team is Converge. For me, the best team and the team I wanted to be with."
Promoting esports is just one of the ways Converge ICT is supporting gamers. In August 2022, the company launched Gamechanger – the first fixed pure-fiber broadband plan in the Philippines dedicated for gamers and gaming enthusiasts.
Why did Converge ICT decide to address the specific needs of gamers?
"Gamers are one of the most underserved communities/segment markets in the Philippines. And because of its popularity during the height of the pandemic, almost half of the population aged 16-40, or 48% of the population, followed esports in some way, which resulted in a bigger and more tight-knit relationship within the community," Converge Segment Marketing Manager – Consumer Sandra Zira Dingal said.
"A recent study from Nielsen says that 78% of the respondents agreed that brands that take part in esports initiatives have a stronger connection to the esports community. We at Converge do not just want to sit with them and know them. We intend to serve them," she added.
Now that's a grand slam for gamers!