Esports Intern Dispatch: Sakalam, Batute, To The Moon, and Other Highlights from MPL-PH’s Media Day

This post was written by Andres Fernandez, our intern for Sports, Gaming, and Entertainment.

Most people believe that you need to take certain courses or be the absolute cream of the crop to reach your dreams. In my experience, this wasn’t necessarily true. As someone who grew up exposed to video games, I have always aspired to work in esports. That’s why, when the opportunity of interning at one of the few marketing agencies specializing in gaming and esports came about, I knew I had to give it a shot.

 

Whether it’s esports or cosplay, the world of video games is a place I find passion in. (Dre with a Wattson Cosplayer)

After choosing to undergo training as a project manager, I was eventually assigned to Evident’s Sports, Gaming, and Entertainment (SGE) Department. With the team currently providing social media strategy and content development for the country’s most prolific esports league, the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League-Philippines (MPL-PH), I knew that I could finally turn my childhood passion into a reality.

Adjusting to an online setup

As Evident currently employs a Work From Home (WFH) policy, most of my internship time so far had to be spent online. While I found this setting quite different from what I expected, I never found it boring. My tasks always varied, and my team made sure to give me enough time to truly understand how the MPL works by having me watch hours of broadcasts and other content.

The peak of this was during our coverage of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Cup (MSC); a week-long tournament where the best teams of the ASEAN region battled to find out who were the true “Kings of SEA.”Covering the event meant having 12-hour long shifts following every occurrence in the broadcast. Despite these long hours, I stayed up to get the full experience, and I ended up learning a lot about the game and the players involved.

My first esports shoot

While doing my internship online was fun, I still wondered what being in a face-to-face environment would be like. As luck would have it, the team had me join them in covering MPL-PH’s Media Day for its 10th season; a day-long shoot conducted in a massive studio. I may have lacked sleep the day before the event, but I blame it on how excited I was to meet my coworkers for the first time, as well as all the players from all the eight teams in the league.

 

When the chance to take a selfie with TNC’s MLBB Squad comes, you take it! (In photo: Dre with the members of TNC Pro Team)

Not one day of this four-day event felt the same. As I was assigned to do a few off-camera interviews, I can truly attest that all eight teams had their own unique flare and personality. Every day, I was able to meet a personality or player that was never the same as the last person I talked to.

From left to right: OSX, Reptar, and Santie, a.k.a the Faces of MPL Philippines

While the bright lights and blaring sounds of the studio were overwhelming at times, my seniors were able to guide me and keep me in check with everything that was going on. The people I found most striking to converse with were actually the league’s shoutcasters; the broadcast’s quirky live commentators, who gave me some cool insights into MLBB and the league in general. Hello there, Santie, OSX, and Reptar!

One unique thing about the Media Day is that if you were there, you would basically be in on a huge secret every single day because you were exposed to all of the team’s latest unreleased jerseys and rosters.

 

The charismatic Setsuna Ignacio, a.k.a. Batute or Dogie, poses for the green screen

Beyond all of the glitz and glam, what I found to be truly compelling was all of the little things you can see about esports players and their relationships with their teams. I realize that these players are away with their families for long periods of time. Whether it’s Blacklist’s tightknit bonds or Z4pnu’s unique relationship with Ch4knu, players are able to find another family with the people they work with.

One of the most iconic duos in MLBB chat behind the scenes

Overall, I realized that while living your dream is certainly attainable, it still requires a lot of work to do and lessons to learn. However, when you’re contributing all your focus, love, and passion into something you would do in your free time, it won’t seem as taxing.

Andres Fernandez is currently a senior taking up a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Technology Management at the Enderun Colleges. His go-to online games are World of Tanks, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Rainbow Six: Siege and his favorite esports teams are Rogue and G2 Esports.

If you’d like to have opportunities to grow your career and skills in new and exciting ways like Dre,  come join us at Evident!

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