‘Apoyari’ awards fete best players in PHL esports


THE best players and movers today in the growing competitive gaming industry or esports received their rewards during the 2022 Philippine Esports Awards held at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Science Amphitheater on Saturday night.

This was the first ever national esports awards ceremony to be presented by both private and government stakeholders to recognize excellence among Filipino talents, athletes and organizations that impact the growing local esports scene, said awards executive producer and director May-i Guia Padilla.

The top recipients of the awards included noted Mobile Legends captain Jonmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna, who was named 2022 Esports Athlete of the Year, an award given by co-presentor San Miguel Corporation; and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, for the 2022 Esports Game Title of the Year.

OhMyV33nus emerged winner of the top prize despite heavy competition from fellow local gaming legends Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno, Sean Khierby “Helios” Miranda Palisoc, Jessie Cristy “JessieVash” Cuyco, Danerie James “Wise Gaming” Del Rosario, Timothy “Tims” Randrup, and Jerrold “Woopiiee” Regay.

Cosplay and gaming star Alodia Gosengfiao, actress and cosplayer Myrtle Sarrosa, and actor Alden Richards were among the celebrity gamers recognized in the ceremony.

Gosengfiao was named “Content Creator of the Year”; Sarrosa bagged “Cosplayer of the Year”; and Richards took the “Community Positive Influencer of the Year” award.

The “Apoyari” awards, named after Philippine legend’s Apolaki and Mayari, son and daughter of Bathala, the creator of the world, were given out in three categories: talent, technical and gaming.

Aside from Gosegfiao, Sarrosa and Richards, the talent awards went to Mika Fabella, who was cited as Journalist of the Year; Caisam “Wolf” Nopueto, Analyst of the Year; Justin “Vill” Villaseran and Allyza “TayRawr” Taylor, Color Casters of the Year; “Manjean” Faldas, Play-by-Play Caster of the Year; OhMyV33nus, Personality of the Year; and Blacklist International, Esports Organization of the Year.

The technical awards went to Overdrive Studios, Creative Team of the Year; Gariath Concepts, Production Team of the Year; and CONQuest Festival, held July 23 and 24, 2022 at the SMX Convention Center, which won as Event of the Year.

The awards in the gaming category went out to the top players in their own field: Danerie James “Wise Gaming” Del Rosario, who was named Pro Mobile Athlete of the Year; Kristoffer “Bon Chan” Ricaplaza of Blacklist International MLBB, Coach of the Year; Lee “Owl” Gonzales, also of Blacklist International MLBB, Esports Rookie of the Year; Riot Games, Game Publisher of the Year; Aljon “Shintarou” Cruzin, Pro Controller Athlete of the Year; Jessie Cristy “JessieVash” Cuyco of Team Secret Valorant, Pro PC Athlete of the Year; Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Game Title of the Year; and OhMyV33nus, Esports Athlete of the Year.

The esports awards mirrored the continuing development of the esports industry in the Philippines, which  has grown in popularity, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic years, due to the increasing avaiwlability of smartphones and mobile internet.

The mobile gaming revenue in the Philippines is estimated to be at $1.3 billion in 2023 from just $521 million in 2017. It is expected to grow further to $1.4 billion in 2024 and $1.5 billion in 2025.

Organizers said the “Apoyari” awards are meant to be not only a testament of competition and drive to succeed, but also serve as a reminder that excellence in sports can be collectively shared, enjoyed and be in service to a nation and community.

The 1st PH eSports Awards was  o-presented by Smart Communications and Eplayment, Esports News PH, Philippine Esports Organization (PESO), Department of Information Communications and Technology (DICT), and the Games and Amusement Board (GAB), and co-presented by CIGNAL TV, San Miguel Corporation and Mineski Global.

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