Community, Passion and Love: A Deconstruction of Playpark All-Stars

The morning was young.

LED boxes were strewn at a corner outside the building, while bouncers in black were in attention, enforcing order like sentinels of old.

Inside, the booths were ready, the LED screens were set and the final tests done – they had to make sure that not only the spectators at the venue were satisfied with the production value, but also the thousands of people who are tuning in from all over Southeast Asia as well.

The crowd was wild at SM North Edsa Skydome as the sun cooperated outside in order to create the perfect weather for the event.

Banners and placards showed their respective allegiances, while ordinary players were excited at the prospect of winning prizes. While these may be nothing but trinkets to the high-end player out there, winning a MSI hat means everything for the common guy or lady out there – as it shows that there is an actual physical manifestation of one’s love towards the game.

Cosplayers at the venue. Look at the background…

Earlier in the day, hundreds of people were already lining up outside, excited to watch their respective gaming heroes in action. Just as their favorite players train and grind day and night in order to reach the big stage, these fans came from all walks of life and nooks of Manila and even provinces as far as Cebu and General Santos on a weekend, thus showing their effort and giving their time towards the games that they love in their own way.

This is all despite Metro Manila’s unpredictable weather, which usually a reason to make people pause.

Playpark All-Stars 2018 was well-prepared: From hosts such as Justin Villaserran and Een Mercado to commentators such as Shin Boo Ponferrada and various distinguished guests from all over Southeast Asia, the company made sure that there was no shortage of top-caliber talent during the event.

However, no one could have imagined that the place would go beyond capacity this time around. As loyal fans of Playpark came in, they realized that they had no place to sit, but they still lingered around to participate in the gathering.

The true definition of jam-packed.

Five championship events were held during that day, thus ensuring that there is something to watch for every fan out there. The commentators added color and insight to an already action-packed day; thus adding more pleasant memories to the event.

It is amazing to see that not only professional players get to see the spotlight that day, as ordinary players who have contributed to the community were also recognized on that Sunday.

Who would know that RF Online’s player of the month is actually a multi-licensed professional – and yet still finds time to get to the top of the proverbial ladder?

Who could possibly guess that a raffle winner for a MMORPG has met her husband more than a decade ago in-game, went into the same squad and completed their bonds in real life, having a child of their own?

Yes, this story is true.

These moments are a rallying point for the common player out there – because these people are a reminder that although not everyone can reach the top echelons of professional gaming, there is always a chance to create your own story inside the game and turn it into something that can impact people’s lives.

As the event went on, hordes of fans came as the hosts entertained the fans with their jokes and games during the lull between various title bouts. There were even lighter moments in which the audience showed off their hidden talents; after all, it’s not a community event without these bonanzas, right?

Playpark Philippines has proven to be extremely active in terms of engaging with their gaming communities, holding multiple community events during the past few years.

They have already sent multiple teams in international tournaments to compete for the country. That alone in itself is a great opportunity for these players to broaden their horizons beyond the confines of competitive play.

Yet, as they say, for every beginning, there is also an end. As that unusually warm and cozy weekend evening in August wore on, people slowly emptied the Skydome to move back to their normal lives.

But it was a wonderful day for everyone.

Finally, the night became old.

Another Playpark All-Stars 2018 event has came to pass.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.