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Sports

New country manager for Riot Games Philippines vows to 'hyper-serve' local gaming community

Michelle Lojo - Philstar.com
New country manager for Riot Games Philippines vows to 'hyper-serve' local gaming community
Riot Games Philippines country manager Joel Guzman
Courtesy of Riot Games

MANILA, Philippines — Riot Games’ expansion within the Asia Pacific Region continues with the establishment of its presence in the Philippines.

A new team — under the banner of Riot Games' operation in the Philippines — is slowly growing with its head with country general manager Joel Guzman at the forefront.

Having dubbed himself as "game agnostic", playing all sorts of games from PC to mobile and even tabletop, Guzman felt it was a dream come true to be part of the industry he was passionate about. 

He was previously with Microsoft, handling OEM devices but then took an opportunity to be the head of the Xbox Category Management team based in Singapore.

“That was like my gateway into gaming. I was devices, then gaming, and with the pandemic, I wanted to be closer to family so went back to the Philippines. The [Riot Games] opportunity came up, which was perfect timing andI fortunately got the role,” shared Guzman in an interview with Philstar.com.

One of the key priorities of his team is to "hyper serve" the market as they value Filipino gamers and want to make sure their presence is felt by the community. 

He outlined this by focusing on three pillars: the community, esports foundation, and marketing.

“We have pillars that we are focusing on. Pillar Number One would be community and influencers. We really want to tap the influencers that have different types of communities, different types of audiences. We want to take care of these influencers, these communities. Pillar Number Two, the foundation of esports. Before you become a pro-player, there is a level before, semi-pro, collegiate, really enhancing your skill set because that is the aspiration of esports players. The last pillar is a combination of performance marketing and hyper-local activities. Events like Star Guardian Art School, [gives the community an opportunity] to see more of our presence.” explained Guzman.

What he loves about the Philippine market is how passionate Filipinos are about esports and gaming and it’s not like any other country or region which is something he wishes to focus on, especially with the help of the Philippine Esports Organization (PeSO).

“It’s always something in my pipeline to discuss with PESO what could be a good ecosystem to have in the country. There’s so much potential, not just on a revenue standpoint but for a player standpoint,” added Guzman.

Additionally, Guzman mentioned that the country may be geared towards MOBA and FPS games, but it doesn’t mean they will be leaving the other devices and genres behind.

One of the first few events that Riot Games’ Philippines has launched is the Star Guardian Art School in San Juan, highlighting the alternate universe skins of League of Legends. 

The event has brought Star Guardian into reality and also encourages fans to unleash their creativity with art workshops. 

Besides giving back to the fans who have been asking for the return of Star Guardian, Guzman also sees the event as a means to tap the female gaming community.

“Diversity and inclusion is one of Riot’s priority goals. Star Guardian’s message is about empowering women. It’s about celebrating one’s authentic self, representing one’s authentic self. The message is all about valuing friendship, building good relationships and having good friends. I'm hoping events like these would pave the way for female gamers, [to empower them],” said Guzman.

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