But a company like Tier One can only do so much if the goal is really making the gaming industry a viable career path in the Philippines, even though the Gosiengfiaos, Gutierrez and Samson are living proof of what can be achieved in the industry. Fortunately, educational institutions are coming around and are slowly realizing that gaming isn’t something to reject, but can actually be something people can learn.
Schools around the world have been putting up gaming programs in the past few years, but in the Philippines, it’s the Lyceum of the Philippines University that has recently taken the lead. The school reached out to Tier One last January to help develop an esports course that would be submitted to the Commission on Higher Education for approval. Gutierrez says the focus of the proposed curriculum is actually the backend jobs that would help sustain the industry.
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“Right now, it takes around six to eight months for a professional from another industry, be it a marketing officer, a creative, or a manager, to grasp gaming,” he says. “A college curriculum would cut the time and cost of that wasted opportunity and help fulfill a huge market need.”
But what about sustainability? Can the gaming industry really accommodate specialized professionals for the long term? Gutierrez says it needs to be looked at from the other way around.
“There will be more companies like Tier One in the near future for sure,” he says. “But more than that, understanding how the gaming industry works and the business models within it will unlock business opportunities for entrepreneurs, which will create more jobs.
“When food-related courses were developed, they weren’t thinking everyone would become a chef,” he adds. “Somebody will open a restaurant. Somebody will open a materials supply business. Same thing with gaming. Not everybody will become a pro player, but they can open a gaming hub, a game development company, or a talent agency like Tier One.”
Despite its massive scale and mind-numbing revenue numbers worldwide, gaming is still fighting an uphill battle for recognition, especially in the Philippines. But Tier One and other local gaming-related companies continue to prove that it isn’t just an alternative. It can actually become a viable choice for a career. The question now is, are you ready to play?
Christine Samson's makeup by Joan Teotico @joan.teotico. Hairstyling by Elvis Rebanal of Creations by Lourd Ramos Salon @elvisrebanal26.