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TikTok searches for 10 gamers to stay in one villa, 'Big Brother' reality show-style

By Jerald Uy Published May 23, 2023 9:30 pm

In a country obsessed with reality shows from Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) to The Clash, it was only a matter of time—or should we say, duration—that the powers-that-be set their eyes on the flourishing gaming community in the Philippines.

Enter The Greatest Gamer Philippines, TikTok’s show that houses 10 players in a villa for three weeks. Indonesia was the training ground for this concept in 2021, where contestants battled in various real-world and gaming challenges to vie for a hefty cash prize and join a pro gamer team. Now, TikTok teleports the battlefield, Hayabusa-style, to the Philippines.

“We’re also bringing along different areas of focus so the contestants could learn things to do on how to be a pro gamer, how you build the metaphor of strength, the training, all these things acceptable to be a pro gamer,” said Vanessa Brown, Director, Business Development, APAC, TikTok.

Drama is an ingredient of reality shows, and arguably, Filipino players have earned a reputation for swearing a lot beyond the relatively acceptable term of “cancer,” referring to a player who has little-to-no contribution to the team.

Brown said that the episodes and snippets to be broadcast on TikTok will still adhere to its community and content guidelines. “The platform has very strong guidelines and we’ll do the same with The Greatest Gamer,” she added.

A glimpse of The Greatest Gamer Philippines 

Critical Chance: The auditions

Aspiring professional esports gamers aged 16 years old and above can submit their audition videos from May 24 to June 14 on TikTok. First, they must follow @thegreatestgamer and @smartcommunications on the social media platform. Then, they need to create audition video content by introducing themselves and showcasing their Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) skills using the official audition filter. Finally, they should add the hashtag #TheGreatestGamerPH, and tag the said TikTok accounts when posting their audition piece.

Up for grabs are a grand cash prize worth P250,000 and a contract with esports team Smart Omega that will give them a chance to suit up and be part of their MLBB roster.

Hero Picking: What are they looking for?

So what does it take to get drafted to The Greatest Gamer Philippines roster?

Brown said that while mechanical skills are a prerequisite by default, there are soft skills they are looking for in casting the stars of the show.

“What I’m confident that we will have is great contestants with good stories. It’ll have different classes, KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), and people who create great content. We want to entertain Filipinos as well as tell the story of gaming,” Brown shared.

Hero Banning: What are they not looking for?

Asked what qualities they are not looking for, John Michael Turcuato, First Vice President, Head of Sports, PLDT-Smart and Executive Director of MVP Sports Foundation, played coy in his answer.

“This is difficult to answer because it’s in the negative. But we’ve had some difficult situations, if you’ve followed Smart Omega for the last few years. That’s all that we want to avoid,” Turcuato said.

A quick online search yielded stories of Smart Omega’s resident junglers or core players missing games but no reason was disclosed in public. In 2021, GMA News Online reported that the Smart Omega esports team was also banned from joining Valve-sponsored all Valve-sponsored events due to "engagement in match-fixing activities."

Spell vamp: The Greatest Gamer Philippines

The Greatest Gamer Philippines then presents an opportunity to show what it takes to be a professional esports player and to highlight sportsmanship and civility in esports athletics.

“Filipinos have always been enthusiastic about gaming, whether online or offline, and we are excited to witness their talents and passions in The Greatest Gamer Philippines auditions,” Brown said. “TikTok's gaming community rallies behind one another to cheer on key wins, support after disappointing losses, and shares tips to help each level up in their favorite games. It would be very interesting, entertaining, and educational to see how Pinoy gamers strategize to be the next professional gamer,” she added.