Jihoz Acknowledges Axie PH Community as Axie Open Manila 2022 Concludes

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Editing and Additional Reporting by Nathaniel Cajuday

In line with the celebration of the Philippine Web3 Festival, Axie Infinity, the popular blockchain game that popularized play-to-earn (P2E) gaming in the Philippines conducted one of the largest P2E Esports tournaments to date. The grand finals of Axie Open Manila 2022 were held on the last day of the festival, November 18, 2022, at Ayala Circuit Mall in Makati City.

ENGRANDE. The stage of Axie Manila Open 2022.

The whole tournament was attended by a total of 256 players that went head-to-head for the $120,000 USD prize pool—paid in AXS and worth around ₱7 million.

Axie Open Manila 7 Million Pesos
FLEXING. The outside of the #AOM22 venue shows “AXIE IS BACK” and “7 MILLION PESOS TOTAL CASH PRIZES.”

For the finals day, the people behind the tournament were all hands-on to see it through, such as Jeffrey “Jihoz” Zirlin, the co-founder of the game himself, and Nix Eniego, Sky Mavis Philippines Lead; together with the representatives of the convenors of the fest,  Luis Buenaventura, the country manager of Yield Guild Games (YGG) and Carlo Mendiola, BlockchainSpace’s Growth Lead.

“The energy here in the Philippines is amazing. We all know that Axie and the Philippines are inexplicably linked, we grew up together. The energy from the community is super strong, it’s been a hard time for the crypto (and) web3 space recently but, being honest, being here really allows us to push forward and gain that strength that we need,” Jihoz started when asked about his thoughts about the event.

Axie Open Manila Jeff Zirlin
PAPA JIHOZ, WEN? Jeff Zirlin of Sky Mavis facing different outlets for an interview, including BitPinas.

He also revealed that it is not his first time in the Philippines but actually his fourth. According to him, back in the “early days of Axie” he would only speak in front of 10 to 20 people.

“Now (we have) thousands of really strong supporters, community members, cheering us on. It’s amazing, it’s a totally different feeling and it gives me a lot of hope for the future,” he stated.

Meanwhile, with the Philippines having the most Axie Infinity players in the world, Jihoz also explained that there was a supposed Philippine-based Axie Con–like the one held in Barcelona last September– but Sky Mavis “weren’t sure about the COVID restrictions in Manila” at the time.

“But of course, future big events like that in the Philippines will definitely make a lot of sense,” he told BitPinas.

On the other hand, Buenaventura also expressed his pride and gratitude to all the people behind the fest as well as to those that participated and joined.

“I am incredibly proud of the team… we’ve been waiting for this moment for 3, 4 years because we always knew that the Philippines would be the center of blockchain gaming, metaverse, and web3. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world will see that as well,” the country manager proclaimed.

Axie Open Manila Luis Buenaventura II
NOT CRYPTODAY. YGG’s Luis Buenaventura preparing for an interview with different Media outlets, including the lapel mic of BitPinas.

To him, “there is nothing like seeing your competition face-to-face” citing that it was always the Filipinos that traveled somewhere else to compete.

“Now, we are the ones where the people are coming into. We are now the ones where the world is going to visit, challenge, and compete against. And that is just a great feeling,” he added.

And when BitPinas asked Buenaventura about the best market cycle to conduct a P2E tournament, the country manager answered:

“I don’t think the market cycle really matters as much. I think what matters is if the game is ready, if the community is ready, if the industry is ready. I think it does not matter so much what the prices are. It’s great nga that we can continue to enjoy events like this even (though) crypto prices are not great as they were before.”

The tournament ended with Spamandrice taking home the grand prize of 1.5 million pesos, and his guildmate, Zaratustra, was in second place. The third placer of the tournament is Martinsuuuu the lone Filipino left competing since the quarterfinals who also celebrated his birthday a day prior to the grand finals match. (Read more: Event Recap – Axie Open Manila 2022)

Axie Open Manila Winner Spamandrice
CHERISH THE MOMENT! The Axie Infinity Team and PH Web3 Fest Team awarding the AOM22 Champion, SpamAndRice.

To end the event, Jihoz took the stage and gave a message to the Axie Infinity community:

“I want to shout out the Philippines, the entire week has been so emotional to me. It really feels surreal to see how strong our community is here. You see the numbers, you see the headlines, you watch the documentary, but everyone in the Axie Community needs to know how intense the hype is here. These have been hard times for crypto, hard times for web3, hard times for Axie but coming here gives us the strength to understand what we’re building for, who we’re building for, where we’re going; we need to keep pushing.” 

Axie Open Manila Jeff Zirlin aka Jihoz Addresses the Crowd
EMOTIONAL. Jihoz delivers his message to the community as the tournament comes to conclusion.

Just last month, Axie Infinity hosted the Axie Infinity Cabanatuan Community Meetup—the Axie Capital of the Philippines—where 256 players from 84 guilds faced each other for a 3030 Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) prize pool (approximately ₱1.9 million). (Read more: [Event Recap] CabsyCon Recap – Axie Infinity Cabanatuan Event)

Axie Infinity Cabanatuan Winners
PARANG KAILAN LANG? The tournament winners of Axie Cabanatuan Meet-up last October.

This article is published on BitPinas: Jihoz Acknowledges Axie PH Community as Axie Open Manila 2022 Concludes

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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