Grassroots esports teams play to help feed the hungry, break stigma on mental health

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Who would have thought that a mobile game tournament could be an opportunity to change lives?

For GameLab and Redlist, winning the recent GIGA Arena Street League, an esports tournament powered by Smart Communications allowed them not only to showcase their skills in Mobile Legends, but also to extend help to those in need.

GameLab was able to donate 325 kilos of sustainably grown rice worth ₱20,000 to Rise Against Hunger Philippines (RAH). The rice is sourced from rice growers in Santa Cruz Occidental, Mindoro supported by Smart’s ‘Buy Local’ program, who are practicing a climate-smart and eco-friendly farming system.

RAH and Smart have been partners since December of last year through the “Rice Together!” program to help feed over 19,000 families in Manila, Pasig, and Laguna.

Third placer Redlist chose the Youth for Mental Health Coalition, a group of youth advocates that work to elevate the Filipino youth’s consciousness on mental health and end the stigma on mental illness, as their beneficiary. “Mental health is a very important part of our life. Because of the pandemic, this has become one of the biggest issues among the youth,” said Elmer Christian Dela Merced, team captain of Redlist.

Redlist donated seven Smart Bro Pocket Wifi devices worth ₱10,000 with ₱1,000 worth of load cards that can be used by the organization to conduct training and activities for the youth.

Empowering the Filipino youth

Following their win in the Street League tournament, GameLab shared that they have qualified for the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Development League (MDL), the second official league in the Philippines by Moonton. They are also part of the pool for SIBOL, the national team for esports, who might represent the Philippines in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia this year.

“This just shows that events like these go beyond connectivity and the network already. It is about empowering the youth, giving them opportunities to help them support their advocacies, and providing them a platform like GIGA Arena where they can showcase their talents to the world,” said Melvin Consunji Nubla, FVP and Group Head, Go-to-Market and Subscriber Management at Smart.

The Street League tournament held on Smart GIGA Arena ( is in line with Smart’s long-standing support for Philippine esports to cultivate the passion and talent of Filipino gamers. 

Gaming enthusiasts can continue to join local esports tournaments by logging in to GIGA Arena, the country’s first all-in-one esports platform for Filipino mobile gamers. The platform is open to all Smart and TNT customers and lets users match up with fellow players to compete in daily, weekly, and monthly tournaments for prestige and cash prizes.

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To continue enjoying the best gaming experiences powered by Smart, subscribers are encouraged to register their Smart and TNT SIM at and receive 3GB of free data upon successful registration. is one of the most active tech sites in the Philippines. We enjoy sharing interesting and relevant stories about the latest trends in technology, developments in mobile phones and social media, and modern digital and geek culture.

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