The Nationals (esports)
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2019 The Nationals
|No. of teams||6|
|TV partner(s)||eGG Network|
|Level on pyramid||1|
The Nationals is an electronic sports (Esports) league in the Philippines which will have its inaugural season in 2019. It will be the first franchise-based electronic sports in the Philippines. The tournaments are sanctioned by the Esports National Association of the Philippines (ESNAP).
The Nationals was first announced in June 2018 with its inaugural season set to commence in the first quarter of 2019. The league will feature four titles. The Nationals is envisioned to act as the main pool for national Esports athletes who will compete for the Philippines in international tournaments such as the Asian Games.
- HappyFeet Esports
- BrenPro Inc.
- Cignal TV Inc.
- PLDT Inc.
- STI Education Systems Holdings, Inc.
- Gambit Esports
The inaugural 2019 season will commence in March 24, 2019 and will feature three video game titles. Each title will feature two conferences. Both double round-robin group stage and single-elimination playoffs will be adopted as the competition format with the top players in each title and conference playing against each other in the season finale. Six teams entered for the inaugural season, with STI set to join mid-season after the Dota2 competition.
The six founding corporate partners of The Nationals will field teams for the inaugural season of the Esports tournament. As of August 2018, two more franchise slots are still open which if filled would see eight teams participating in The Nationals. The six participating franchise teams including a new team, Suha, were confirmed by Gariath Concepts in February 2019. A team of one of the founding corporate founders.
|Team||Company||Joined The Nationals|
|Bren EPro||BrenPro Inc.||2018|
|Cignal Ultra Warriors||Cignal TV Inc.||2018|
|Happy Feet Emperors||HappyFeet Esports||2018|
|Omega||PLDT Inc. / Smart Communications||2018|
|STI eOlympians||STI Education Systems Holdings, Inc.||2018|
The league will follow a franchise model, the first Esports league in the Philippines to adopt this format. Other franchised based leagues in the country are the Philippine Basketball Association, the Philippine Super Liga, Premier Volleyball League, and the Philippine Football League. The Nationals is recognized by the Esports National Association of the Philippines
Video game titles
Three titles, belonging to three categories: PC gaming, Mobile gaming, Console gaming, will be the main Esports titles to be played in The Nationals.  Gariath Concepts will handle the operations and logistics of the league.
On July 24, 2018 two titles for The Nationals were confirmed: Dota 2 for PC Gaming and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang for Mobile gaming. As of that The Nationals' media day, March 8, 2019, the third and final title to be played in the league will be Tekken 7.
|Dota 2||PC Gaming|
|Mobile Legends: Bang Bang||Mobile Gaming|
|NBA 2K19||Console Gaming|
The Road to The Nationals
The Nationals was officially launched on July 24, 2018 in a press conference. In the same event, the "Road to The Nationals" a series of qualification tournament to determine the players of the six franchise teams to compete in The Nationals' inaugural season was announced. Three qualifiers for each of The Nationals three video game titles will be held. These tournaments will run from August to October 2018 with the qualifying eight teams from each of the three titles competing in the final qualification tournament at the Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit 2018 to be held from October 27 to 28 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay.
The winning teams and individuals (for competitors in single-player titles) will be given millions of pesos in prize money and a chance to get drafted in one of the six franchise teams of The Nationals.
The players of the inaugural 2019 The Nationals season will be drafted among the winners of the Road to The Nationals qualification tournaments to be held in the latter half of 2018. The Nationals mean to make electronic sports a professional career with players to be given monthly salaries ranging from ₱40,000 to ₱50,000 among other benefits such as team housing, physicians, healthcare, etc. Minors are eligible to compete if they have waivers from their parents consenting their participation.
The first financial firm to become a sponsor of the league's qualification tournament, The Road to The Nationals, was the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) which announced its sponsorship deal with the league in October 2018 to specifically promote its MyWallet Virtual Card service.
The Nationals will be broadcast at 5 Plus on ESPN 5 in the Philippines. League matches will also aired at the One Sports through Cignal TV and Cablelink for Philippine-based viewers as well as eGG Network for the viewers across Southeast Asia and Australia. Matches of Road of The Nationals were aired live in the country on ESPN 5.
- Patino, Martin (8 February 2019). "The Nationals Begins Franchise-Based Esports League in March 2019". GG Network. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
- Abad, Roderick (July 24, 2018). "TV5-ESPN5 launches Esports league". BusinessWorld. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
- "The Nationals is first esports franchise league in PH". ESPN 5. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- Ashton, Graham (14 June 2018). "Multi-Game Franchised League to Launch in the Philippines With Six Corporate Partners". The Esport Observer. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- Fitch, Adam (15 June 2018). "The Nationals franchised league announced for the Philippines". Esports Insider. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- Morales, Luisa (9 March 2019). "'The Nationals' out to legitimize esports in Philippines". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
- Abad, Roderick (24 July 2018). "TV5-ESPN5 launches Esports league". BusinessMirror. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "6 Franchise teams are revealed..." Facebook. Gariath Concepts. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
- "PLDT, Smart launch pro gaming team 'Omega' for country's first franchise-based esports league". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 17 February 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
- Saldajeno, Ivan Stewart (16 June 2018). "1st eSports franchise league to be launched in PH". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- Ansis, JC (25 July 2018). "Road to The Nationals: Searching for esports pro athletes in the Philippines". Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- Agustin, Ram Christian (24 July 2018). "The Nationals give PH esports industry a boost". Manila Standard. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "TV5 eyes e-sports promotion with pro tournament". BusinessWorld. 25 July 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- Camus, Miguel (25 July 2018). "TV5 betting on e-sports; moves to lure gamers". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "RCBC MyWallet powers first PH ESports League". BusinessMirror. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 15 October 2018.