PBA ventures into esports with Dark League Studios

Aimed to bridge the gap between the traditional sports and the fast-growing esports community, PBA and the Dark League Studios have officially forged a historic partnership through the PBA Esports Bakbakan set to fire off in March.

PBA and Dark League Studios officials along with influencers and PBA players (PBA Images)

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, along with Dark League Studios CEO AC Valdenor and program director Marc Chua, announced the development during its press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Dark League Studios office in Libis, Quezon City.

"We're grateful for this partnership with Dark League. With the history of PBA sports entertainment combined with the Dark League's growing influence in modern technology, I think this is a win-win situation for both parties. Ngayon pa lang po nagpapasalamat na kami sa Dark League para sa collaboration with the PBA,” said Marcial.

“We want to bridge esports and conventional sports and make people know that esports is not something that says 'kaka-computer mo lang 'yan'. It's something that will continue to grow," added Chua.

The PBA Esports Bakbakan will be launching a Mobile Legends: Bang Bang tournament for its inaugural event but other titles like Call of Duty: Mobile, Dota 2 and Player’s Unknown Battleground are already in the pipeline.

All of the 12 PBA teams will be forming its own Mobile Legends Esports team which will be composed of two PBA players, two influencers/ ex-pro players, one player from the academe and three fans who shall be picked from the 70 screened players from the initial 3,870 aspiring players who are in the Mythical Glory rank with at least 600 points.

MLBB influencers courtesy of Minana Esports also graced the event including Eric “Eruption” Tai, Hypebits Gaming, Setsuna “AkosiDogie” Ignacio and Elyson “Wrecker” Garanza, among others.

The top four teams after the single round-robin eliminations will then advance to the semifinals and to the Finals which is expected to take place at either the Mall of Asia Arena or the Araneta Coliseum.