Eight-time boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao has launched a new gaming brand as he aims to become the esports’ “heavyweights of Southeast Asia”.
The Filipino boxing great has teamed up with global esports giant Veloce to create Team Pacquiao GG.
The new venture is aiming to build a national gaming team in the Philippines but will reportedly not be entering any professional leagues.
According to Esports Insider, the Philippines boasts 6.4 million esports fans and Pacquiao is determined to capitalise on the growing gaming industry.
“Today, we are launching Team Pacquiao to sow the seed of Filipino excellence in international esports competitions,” said Pacquiao, as reported by Inquirer.
“Our purpose is to become the pound-for-pound esports heavyweights of Southeast Asia through community engagements, professional teams, content creation, and charitable giving,
“Team Pacquiao has partnered with Veloce Group to build Team Pacquiao together to something special not only for the Philippines but also for the world.
“We have brought together a team of five incredibly talented Filipino men and women as founding members of Team Pacquiao, who have accomplished so much in their gaming and streaming careers and also share my vision to create opportunities for those without them.”
Pacquiao is considered to be one of the greatest fighters of all time, having become the first boxer in history to win major world titles in four of the original eight weight classes and across four decades.
The boxer-turned-politician has also officially entered the race to become the next President of the Philippines with the election scheduled to be held next year.
While Pacquiao never competed at the Olympic Games, he was the Filipino flagbearer at the Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony.
The 42-year-old is not the first sporting star to enter the gaming scene as England football captain David Beckham co-founded Guild Esports in June 2020.
“Esports is not just an online phenomenon but a legitimate, growing sporting industry around the world with a lot of job and business opportunities,” said Pacquaio.
“Esports is the future and I’m really happy to be part of this quest to create world-class content creators, Filipino gamers and develop them into professional athletes
“In 2019 the Southeast Asian Games have already featured it as a medal event.”
The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games will also feature esports as a medal event for the first time ever.
“Together with Veloce, we developed the Team Pacquiao brand as part of a long-term strategy to build the national esports gaming team of the Philippines that will compete across all of Asia and conquer the world of esports,” added Pacquaio.