Support Pinoy Artists! Last 2 Days to vote for Overwatch Map Design Contest

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Remember the Davao and Cebu inspired Overwatch map we featured weeks ago? Well, the voting deadline will end in two days and it’s your last chance to support our local artists to make to the top 8. With hundreds of participants all over South East Asia, two local artists from the Philippines are the finalist of the SEA Overwatch Design Contest.

One of the local artist is from Davao City, Alben Tan who designed the Davao Control map that inspired his hometown featuring their local city hall and clock Tower. The other one is from Cebu, a 16-year old artist Carl Kho who designed the Simala Sanctuary De Cebu inspired from the Simala Shrine, a religious structure and establishment located in Sibonga Town, Southern Cebu.

The Overwatch SEA Map Design started last March 26 and all local artists across the South East Asia region were invited to join the competition. Artists were asked to design a map that based on a famous or memorable place with the combination of the Overwatch style. Out of undisclosed number of entries, only 18 entries makes to the final. And 8 of these will be chosen as the winner on June 12.

The deadline for voting is about to end on June 8. If you like their work and want to support our local artists, you can support them by voting for their entry at

Simala Sanctuary De Cebu by Carl Kho, an Interview

In our previous article, we have discussed how Alben Tan conceptualized the Davao map design and his journey on how he gets to the competition. Now, we have a chance to interview the 16-year old Carl Kho from Cebu and asked him about his Simala Sanctuary De Cebu map.

According to Carl, “My design stemmed out from a game I’ve been passionately playing for a while now—Overwatch, a game by Blizzard. A place where I destress from my daily distress. How I got myself in the competition was a tale worthy of the next generation’s ears.”

Carl finds out about the SEA Overwatch Map Design competition from a Facebook post popped up from his news feed. Carl says “I was slashing my way through the thick vines of the jungle when I- nah, I’m just kidding. I was taking my daily dose of FB when the announcement about the contest popped up: Overwatch 2020 SEA Map Design Concept. I remember feeling euphoric and procrastinate-y at the very same time. And so I ignored the contest until of course, the last day of submission. I sat down, opened Photoshop CC, lubed my almost-rusty skills of photo manipulation, and went through the ideas in my head.”

In his initial design, he also tried to feature different key elements like the Magellan’s Cross and even Korea, but ended up designing the Simala Shrine. “I tried featuring Magellan’s Cross, nope. Korea (hey, it’s part of SEA too), until finally, I went with something grandiose but not overly detailed. Churches equals heaven, a floating haven: Simala Shrine from Cebu Province. I hogged the computer that night, shaking my head, nodding my head. I wouldn’t stop until I was finished when I found out, “Oh, they’re extending the submission to May 14.” By then, I was already finished but I continue to make bits of improvements day-by-day until I was satisfied.”, He said.

For Carl selected as the finalist of the SEA Overwatch Map design contest was already enough for him and was thankful for the support of his family, friends and her girlfriend. “Passing the initial test is already a win as they consider me one that is “good enough”. I wouldn’t have made it this far without the help of my very supportive family, friends, and girlfriend 😮 I am proud to bear the flag of the Philippines and name of Cebu.”, Carl added on the interview.

He has also advised to all aspiring artists, “I hope my story will make society realize that good things do come out of gaming. The arts industry is one that’s almost always often looked down in our country, so I will be using this opportunity to remind everybody this season of quarantine: remember, you turned to the arts and it kept you sane. I hope I can inspire other kids reading this too. I shall motivate you all to keep on exploring and start using the internet and its infinite resources wisely. A google search of “how to…” goes long ways. And, unsolicited advice: start following creators, as you can value the capability of what our own hands can create. Keep on learning 😀

To know more about Carl Kho, you can check his portfolio page at

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