ONE fighters turn to esports amid hiatus
MANILA, Philippines—It’s become second nature for mixed martial artists to constantly train and compete, but with COVID-19 pandemic halting all live action, they have turned to another outlet for competition.
Martial artists such as Team Lakay’s Joshua Pacio, Kevin Belingon, and Eduard Folayang have taken eSports to release their competitive juices and their game of choice is Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
“I can say that esports is one of the biggest platforms today, and I’ve gotten addicted to it, especially since we’ve been under Enhanced Community Quarantine here in Baguio,” said Pacio. “Even kuya Eduard [Folayang] and kuya Kevin [Belingon] are playing as well. We enjoy it a lot because it’s not just a game, it’s a game where you need to use your brain. It’s like playing chess.”
Folayang, who is 11 years the senior of the 24-year-old Pacio, only logs on to the game when he’s done with his home training.
“You need the preparation, you need to invest time to practice and get better in the game, you also have to learn how to strategize, and you also must have teamwork,” said Folayang.
The World Flyweight Grand Prix Champion Demetrious Johnson, however, has taken his game to the next level with his gaming session getting streamed on his YouTube and Twitch channels.
The Mighty Mouse has more than 75,000 subscribers on YouTube (Mighty Gaming) and 169,000 followers on Twitch (MightyGaming).
“I’ve been gaming almost every day,” said Johnson. “I’m currently playing Escape from Tarkov, and I’m waiting for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands to come out.
Johnson is also an avid gamer of PlayersUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Call of Duty and he even likened MMA to esports.
“It’s a grind. It’s a non-stop grind,” said Johnson.