The excitement of the 3-day Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) 2023 at the World Trade Center in Manila from November 3 to 5, 2023 has just wrapped up, and it’s time to reflect on an event that has once again elevated the gaming scene in the Philippines. This event drew together a vibrant mix of gamers, creators, and industry leaders who shared their love for gaming and created unforgettable moments that will resonate long after the event’s end.
ESGS stands as a major highlight in the gaming calendar, a place where the Filipino gaming community comes together as one. More than just a meetup, ESGS is a vibrant showcase of unity, featuring players, game makers, and visionaries. Inside its lively halls, attendees experienced the latest in gaming tech, cheered on competitive showdowns, and got a glimpse of the future of gaming. This year’s summit was a dynamic space that thrived on the shared excitement for new games, fierce tournaments, and groundbreaking insights, all pulsing with the energy of its passionate participants.
SEGA’s Upcoming Games Showcase
SEGA sparked a wave of excitement at the beginning of the event with an engaging showcase featuring their new title “Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name.”
The energy was electric as they also unveiled fresh updates for fan favorites like “Persona 3 Reload”, “Sonic Superstars”, “Sonic Superstars” and “ENDLESS Dungeon” Fans flocked to the SEGA booth for a first-hand look and to snag exclusive merchandise, eager to dive into the latest gaming experiences SEGA had to offer.
The enthusiasm continued as fans lined up, buzzing with anticipation for the unique swag offered by SEGA. As they wove through the lines, attendees were rewarded with cool freebies, such as a Sonic sun visor and SEGA loot bags, items sure to become cherished keepsakes. In an exciting twist, lucky fans also had the chance to receive a random signed Polaroid from renowned gaming icons Kang Dupet and Morgana, adding a personal touch to their memorabilia collection and making their experience at the SEGA booth truly one-of-a-kind.
Technological Triumphs and Tournaments
Samsung’s presence at the event was nothing short of a high-tech spectacle. They showcased cutting-edge OLED screen technology, stunning visitors with displays that delivered incredibly rich and vivid visuals. In an exciting collaboration, Samsung partnered with popular MMORPG titles like “Ragnarok X: Next Generation,” offering fans an immersive gaming experience at their booth.
The excitement didn’t stop at the screens, as Samsung also organized thrilling raffles with the chance to win lavish prizes. Among these were redeem codes for a staggering 1 million in-game crystals for “Ragnarok X: Next Generation,” making their booth a hotspot for visitors. The atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm as attendees eagerly participated, hoping to score some of the generous giveaways Samsung had in store.
Indie Fest Highlights: “Stranded on a Raft”, “Mecha Elite Extreme” and “High Times”
At the Indie Fest booth, three games captured our hearts. “Stranded on a Raft” emerged as a standout with its charming pixel-art style and engaging survival mechanics. Players found themselves navigating a never-ending river, gathering resources, and dodging dangers all from the precarious perch of their raft. The game’s deceptively simple objective — to survive — was a hit with fans who delighted in its depth and the challenge of planning several moves ahead.
Just a few steps away, the adrenaline-pumping world of “Mecha Elite Extreme” offered a stark contrast with its high-octane mech battles. This title drew players in with the promise of deep customization, allowing them to tailor their mechs for various strategic combat scenarios. It celebrated the spirit of indie gaming by demonstrating how far imagination and innovation can take gameplay.
Adding a dose of whimsy and irreverence to the Indie Fest collection was “High Times,” a game that painted a cheeky portrait of entrepreneurship in the fictional city of San Mazo—a not-so-subtle nod to the streets of LA.
Players stepped into the shoes of a Mood Confectioner—a connoisseur of baking “mood enhancers” into donuts—and faced the challenge of transforming their boss’s café, The Hotbox, into the city’s newest hotspot.
Together, “Stranded on a Raft,” “Mecha Elite Extreme,” “High Times” and a host of other inventive titles shone a spotlight on the vibrant tapestry of talent among Filipino indie game developers at ESGS. These games exemplified the incredible outcomes when creativity is paired with passion, giving players unique gaming experiences filled with both challenge and charm.
Astra Arena, League of Legends Tournament
The Astra Arena transformed into an electrifying nexus of competition as teams went head-to-head in the “League of Legends” tournament, a testament to the strategic mastery and quick thinking the game demands.
The tournament attracted legions of passionate fans, all of whom were riveted by the unfolding drama, akin to a grandmaster-level chess match played out in real time. Each matchup was a spectacle of skill, as well-planned strategies and spontaneous decisions drew cheers from the onlookers. More than a mere contest of reflexes, this tournament celebrated the intricate strategic gameplay and camaraderie that lie at the heart of “League of Legends,” cementing its place as a pinnacle of esports.
Musical Fusion and Gaming Passion
On the second day, ESGS hit a high note, blending the thrill of gaming with the infectious energy of live music. Iconic bands Mayonnaise and The Itchyworms took to the stage, providing a soundtrack that pulsed in harmony with the excitement of the gaming halls. Their performances introduced a melodic dimension to the digital celebration, illustrating the profound connection between the rhythms of music and the passions of gaming. The fusion of esports excitement, indie game innovation, and live performances encapsulated the event’s dynamic spirit, spotlighting the multifaceted culture that thrives within the gaming community.
Interactivity and Nostalgia
The Rumble Royale booth was a hub of interactivity, igniting the crowd with its energetic shows and immersive gaming activities.
The highlight, Quest Drops, offered a high-stakes game of chance where attendees could win big – from a hefty 10,000 PHP to the highly sought-after SteamDeck, stirring up excitement and competitive spirits.
Meanwhile, a wave of nostalgia washed over the Retro Gaming area, a cozy corner where veterans and newbies alike were transported back in time. There, they reveled in the classics, with controllers in hand, across consoles like the PS1 and SNES, rekindling the joys of pixelated graphics and simple, yet enthralling gameplay.
Riot Games added their flair to the mix, bringing the fantastical world of “League of Legends” into the realm of reality.
Fans mingled and snapped photos with cosplayers who brought favorite champions to life, adding a touch of magic to the event and creating lasting memories that celebrated the enduring legacy of these beloved characters.
An Unmissable Event
Across the span of three action-packed days, ESGS 2023 unfolded as an expansive canvas showcasing the vibrancy and dynamism of the gaming community. It was a comprehensive carnival of gaming that went well beyond the bounds of a standard summit; it was a holistic celebration of digital artistry and player enthusiasm. The event was abuzz with a multitude of booths and a wide array of events, ensuring that there was something to captivate every attendee.
From the exhilarating opportunity to be among the first to delve into “Tekken 8,” to the shared exuberance of multiplayer face-offs, ESGS was a testament to the continuous innovation within the gaming sphere. Each booth, from indie developers to esports arenas, was a world unto itself, offering unique encounters and unforgettable memories.
As the final day wound down, the glow of screens may have dimmed, but the excitement for what the future holds remained bright. Conversations buzzed with discussions of this year’s hits and the endless possibilities for ESGS 2024, leaving attendees counting down the days until they could reconvene for another unforgettable foray into the ever-evolving gaming universe.