Basketball meets gaming as PBA Esports Bakbakan set in 2023

The PBA is set to explore an uncharted territory when it joins the esports scene with its planned collaboration with Dark League Studios for its PBA Esports Bakbakan in the first quarter of 2023.

Setsuna "Dogie" Ignacio with PBA players Joseph Gabayni, Allen Mina and Jerrick Ahanmisi. (Photo from Dark League Studios)

During the grand finals of the Kings League Season One, Dark League Studios gave a peek of the new partnership as PBA players Jerrick Ahanmisi, Allen Mina, and Joseph Gabayni played alongside popular MLBB streamer and Nexplay Evos figurehead Setsuna “Dogie” Ignacio during a show match against the MPL Philippines-bound Minana Esports.

“The showmatch proved that esports is for everyone, We were able to bridge two different worlds, basketball and esports. The fans that time were so engaged seeing their PBA idols compete in a friendly match in their favorite game MLBB," shared Dark League Studios CEO and co-founder AC Dantes.

"The PBA players who participated told us that it was a great experience talaga! Nakakabitin! Nakaka excite daw to play these games in front of the fans!,” he added

The PBA Esports Bakbakan 2023 will feature teams composed of PBA players, social media influencers and university esports athletes as it hopes to merge professional basketball, esports gaming and the academe in a collaborative effort to further promote esports in the country.

Dantes also expressed his gratitude to PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and board members Bobby Rosales, Alfrancis Chua, Ricky Vargas and former Meralco governor and current Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio for the support to the grassroots esports development and promotion of the community and responsible esports gaming.