Gaming and esports are today as mainstream as other forms of entertainment and social networking, and we can see concepts bleeding in between the metaverse, gaming, and social networking. The virtual reality aspect of metaverse that is being touted by the likes of Facebook’s Meta rebrand for example–that’s something that gamers have been using for decades now, only being fine-tuned and perfected in the past 10 years or so.

Esports itself is a $1.08 billion industry in 2021, and it is expected to accelerate in growth to $1.62 billion in three years’ time. “Esports and gaming are the future of entertainment,” as Alodia Gosiengfiao, Co-Founder of Tier One Entertainment says in a TechNode Global Q&A.

Alodia Gosiengfiao is a winner ORIGIN Innovation Awards‘ Startup Leader of the Year category.

Prior to co-founding Tier One Entertainment, Alodia was no stranger to the culture of gaming and media, having initially risen to fame in the cosplay culture in the Philippines, in Southeast Asia, and even in the Comic-Con scene in San Diego. She then branched out to her lifelong passion, gaming, venturing into streaming in 2014. By 2017, she co-founded Tier One Entertainment, the Philippines’ first gaming and esports agency, along with esports shoutcaster Tryke Gutierrez, and the company has since established its presence across Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Tier One has its own esports brand, Blacklist International, and the company has secured a pre-Series A round of funding led by Gobi Partners. “Tier One Entertainment aims to conquer the rest of Asia,” says Alodia.

Apart from being a winner at the ORIGIN Innovation Award’s Startup Leader of the Year category, Alodia was also featured in TechNode Global’s Southeast Asia’s top 50 rising women in tech 2021.

On our TechNode Global Q&A, she gives advice on navigating challenges that innovators and entrepreneurs face, including taking calculated risks and assessing situations from all possible perspectives. She says: “Trust the process.”

What are the trends driving innovation in the Asia Pacific region today?

Alodia Gosiengfiao, Co-Founder of Tier One Entertainment

In gaming and esports, we’ve seen that it has really grown exponentially due to the rise in consumption of mobile games. And in conjunction with this growth, multiple esports organizations shifted their focus to mobile gaming, which is becoming more and more popular these days and we are fortunate that Tier One’s esports team Blacklist International has been very successful in multiple mobile games competitions this 2021. But I think the major trend nowadays is that Asian Market is entering a golden era of Play 2 Earn (P2E) games that kick-started because of Axie Infinity and we are super excited for the opportunities that it will bring to the industry.

What are the key challenges that startups or innovators face in this post-pandemic environment?

  1. Logistical Challenges. Not because we are an online company, we are exempted from the logistical requirements and challenges of this pandemic. There are payments, productions, deliveries and a lot of other things that had added work and problems due to the situation that we have.
  2. Unfamiliar Territory. I think we’re all entering into a new world and nobody has a clear understanding of what the future holds and thus being able to learn to survey the new playing field is an important skill that an entrepreneur needs nowadays.

Kindly share your strategies in navigating or addressing such challenges.

I think the answer to the challenges brought by the pandemic is really about Business Agility–the ability to quickly adapt to the challenges and make fast and prudent decisions as you go. These things are necessary for any leader to be able to come out stronger in these challenging times.

I think the major trend nowadays is that Asian Market is entering a golden era of Play 2 Earn (P2E) games that kick-started because of Axie Infinity and we are super excited for the opportunities that it will bring to the industry.

What are the three most important entrepreneurship lessons you can share with fellow innovators/entrepreneurs?

  1. There’s no harm in trying but if you fail, fail fast. Also, do take into account calculated risks.
  2. Listen to your people.
  3. When tackling anything, you have to view it from different angles to assess the possible outcomes.

Can you share some interesting data or case studies that are a good example of how technology can bring about impactful change amid today’s business environment?

I think, for gamers, Discord is such a lifesaver. This is just a voice app that we used when we are playing games before, but now this is where we set up our online office and where we hold our online meetings in Tier One Entertainment.