We are 15 days away from the first esports convention in Western Visayas, CONQuest! Esports events ranging from a competitive League of Legends tournament, several open bracket hobby competitions for other games, and talks from prominent esports professionals.
We at Mineski.net had a chance to talk with the heads of the organizers behind CONQuest to get their insight on the upcoming esports event in Iloilo.
Questions from Mineski.net are in bold.
Please introduce yourselves to our readers.
Krizzian: Hello, I am Krizzian Hernando, the Assistant Director of ISC Events.
Justin: My name is Justin Banusing and I am the Managing Director of ISC Events.
When did you decide that it was time for Western Visayas to have its own esports convention?
Justin: Western Visayas has long had a passionate esports scene. Back in the heyday of Decipher, esports events in the region were already getting hundreds of attendees. The problem is though, not many companies are willing to take a risk and invest in the region. Since many in my team, including myself, are leaving Iloilo for college next year, we figured we’d take the leap of faith.
Krizzian: As esports enthusiasts, our team has been organizing esports events for a few years already and since we're graduating and some of us will be leaving the country, we want to end with a bang and a convention is what we decided to do and it was also a dream for our team.
Why did you choose Iloilo as the venue of CONQuest?
Justin: There was really no other choice, given that Iloilo is the hub for esports in Western Visayas and that most of us are from Iloilo. We chose Casa Real in particular as our venue due to its legacy. It’s the most iconic building in Iloilo ever since the colonial era.
Will there be future iterations of CONQuest?
Krizzian: We want to but as we are going to college and most of us are leaving Iloilo, it's highly unlikely to happen. But who knows? If the event is successful, we’ll probably come back for more.
Do you have any plans of expanding into other esports games in the future?
Justin: Our current line-up of 9 titles (League of Legends, Pokemon, NBA, Tekken, Bayani, Project Xandata, Magic the Gathering, Vanguard, Yu-Gi-Oh) is perhaps the most diverse set of games to ever grace a Western Visayan event. This diversity comes from our team’s roots as an event organizing body in the fighting game community.
That being said, we are open to add more titles to the line-up at CONQuest or in future events if the demand is sizeable. We chose our titles based on their local popularity.
What is your personal experience with esports?
Justin: I got into esports through the local fighting game community, in which I was a tournament organizer. It was meant to just be a simple hobby, but the more time I spent in the community, the more I became involved. Through esports, I was able to seize opportunities such as writing for ESPN and working with Garena on events. Without esports, I wouldn’t be who I am today, so I’m trying to give back to the community as much as possible.
Krizzian: I enjoyed playing League of Legends and I saw it as a sport since i was grade 8 because i enjoyed playing with other people especially against the higher years in our school. I wanted to let people see it that way and slowly accept it as a new form of sport and not just a game and In this team we all have that vision
What can Western Visayas esports fans expect from CONQuest in the future?
Justin: Before most of our team leaves next year, we will find and train the next generation of Western Visayan esports event organizers. We are of the belief that the youth can make anything happen if they put enough work in. In fact, CONQuest is organized entirely by high school and college students.
Is there anything you want say for all of the esports and gaming enthusiasts in Western Visayas?
Krizzian: You no longer need to hide and be ashamed of your hobby. Even though it's hard just believe in yourself and fight for it. Make people realize that gaming is innovation in sports. If you want to see esports in city meet or in your school sportsfest. You can make a change.
Justin: Shoutouts to our other assistant director, Ryan Josue who couldn't be here today!
CONQuest will take place in Casa Real De Iloilo on December 16, 2017. So head on over to Iloilo if you want to join in all the esports fun!