AND THERE WERE EIGHT.
From a total of 64 teams nationwide, eight schools remain left standing to slug it out in the grand finals of the prestigious Smart University Clash on Sunday at the SM North EDSA Annex Cyberzone.
Bets from the National Capital Region, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are fairly represented in the knockout quarterfinals after a rigid elimination round for two months, attesting to the competitiveness in the booming Esports scene among the collegiate schools around the country.
Headlining the cast are the University of Santo Tomas Teletigers Gold, Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, Holy Cross of Davao College Teams A and B, Viridus Arcus of the De La Salle University – Manila and Far Eastern U’s Invicta.
Also in the fray are Kabud Esports of the University of Cebu – Banilad and Excelsiors Esports of Carlos Hilado Memorial State University from Negros Occidental.
The Teletigers Gold take on the Generals in the first match followed by the sibling rivalry of HCDC Teams and B, Viridus Arcus versus Invicta and Kabud Esports against Excelsiors Esports.
Winners of the anticipated feisty quarterfinal duels advance to the semis until the finals with the ultimate survivor earning the rights to become the Smart University Clash kings.
More than just a competition
But more than the distinction of stamping class in the Esports scene, the University Clash champions a vision of shaping the educational future of students with the virtual arena serving as a perfect avenue for their skill development and career opportunities.
In a way, it bridges the gap between Esports and the academe in a bid to drive the booming discipline to a legitimate career pathway for student-athletes.
The Smart University Clash is the latest venture for the Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE) as the mother company, stepping up its drive to further the Esports development with a bevy of tournaments featuring colleges nationwide.
Just last month, the Collegiate Center Championship (CCC) staged its Season 3 with the Lyceum Pirate Esports capturing their third straight crown.
The CCE also held several local and international competitions from the MLBB SEA Campus Invitational last year, the CCE University Clash and the SEA Invitationals.
The fastest-growing Esports organization also spearheaded the operations of the historic Friendship Games of the Commission on Higher Education.
Next up for the CCE is the Philippine Collegiate Championship next month, featuring 16 teams in the grand finals after gathering more than 2,000 schools in the year-long qualifiers.