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STILL ALIVE AND KICKING — Sponsors unbothered by financial losses in Esports


As we try to learn more about the industry, our commitment to the ecosystem and gaming is there.

ROCHELLE Vandenberghe of FWD Life Insurance, Lee Villoria of Moonton Games, and Monique Manasterio of Smart remain committed to Esports in the Philippines. | photograph courtesy of MPL

Two of the biggest backers of Mobile Legends Professional League Philippines Smart and FWD Life Insurance are unbothered by recent reports that some Esports organizations and fellow sponsors are not seeing returns from their investment in the industry.

Though on the rise with global viewership, one of the top Esports organizations in the world 100 Thieves recently revealed that the company actually lost money in its Call of Duty program even after winning the world championship last year.

In the end, they were in the hole for $2,500,000.

Canadian content creator and live streamer Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Wang, meanwhile, stated that companies involved in Esports are not making money after learning the hard way when he established his own competitive Valorant team.

Disguised Toast stated that getting sponsorships has been tough too after he learned that companies are on their way out after not seeing significant returns over the years.

For FWD, the company is ready to play the long game in its venture into Esports.

“When we enter the market, an insurance relationship is always long term so we are here for the long run. In the same way when we thought of penetrating Esports, we really tried to understand first what the market is all about,” FWD Life Insurance chief marketing and digital business officer Rochelle Vandenberghe said.

“Until now I cannot say that we know everything there is to it, that is why this is our first foray. We wanted to ensure that the players, the ecosystem, as much as possible provide financial planning because knowledge is important to manage wealth properly.”

“As we try to learn more about the industry, our commitment to the ecosystem and gaming is there. This is part of our nation-building approach to ensure that every single Filipino has the capacity to understand how to manage their money and how to be financially protected.”

Smart, a telecommunications giant in the Philippines, stressed that the company has no worries whatsoever in its venture into Esports.

Aside from sponsoring MPL, Smart is also responsible for backing MPL team Omega Esports.

“Smart’s main business is not Esports. In terms of revenue generation, this is not our main business,” Smart Manager for Content Business Development, Esports and Gaming Dominique Francesca Monasterio said.

“I think that the way that we view our support of Esports will be different from other companies whose main business is Esports, especially with running a team. The way we run our Smart Omega Esports team, the way we run it is we make sure that our athletes are protected. That they have proper contracts and benefits and all that.”


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