ESPORTS gets a new boost here in the country, this time in the collegiate level, with the formation of the Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE).
CCE serves as home to an organized collegiate nationwide league that's adapted to the ever-changing sports landscape in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to create an avenue for the Filipino youth aspiring to find their niche in the booming online games industry.
Ten schools — Arellano University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Jose Rizal University, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Mapua University, San Beda University, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA — have already committed to join the first season with the official five-on-five Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Varsity Cup.
It will launch on October, and will feature varsity basketball players.
"This batch is only the first of the many. We're hoping to have more schools nationwide including Visayas and Mindanao in the future. That’s our vision,” CCE spokesperson Waiyip Chong said.
CCE exhibition matches will kick off this weekend
Serving an appetizer for the Varsity Cup will be 1-on-1 exhibition matches to tip off this weekend, featuring stars like NCAA Season 95 Finals MVP Fran Yu of Letran and Mapua’s Warren Bonifacio.
Other participants include Perpetual's Jasper Cuevas, San Sebastian’s Michael Are, San Beda’s Damie Cuntapay, Lyceum’s Yancy Remulla, JRU’s Jan Marc Abaoag, EAC’s Kyle Carlos, College of St. Benilde’s Carlo Lim, and Arellano’s Kai Oliva.
CALM Network will serve as the tournament’s official broadcaster.
With collegiate sports action still on hiatus due to the pandemic, CCE rises as a perfect platform for Filipino athletes to strut their stuff in the esports discipline that has enjoyed steady increase of users and audience in millions over the past few years.
The Philippines alone has cemented its place as a mecca of esports, particularly in Mobile Legends — highlighted by titles in the Southeast Asian Games, MLBB Southeast Asia Cup and M2 World Championships.
“The esports scene, especially ML, has grown bigger and bigger in the Philippines and Asia over the years, paving the way for us in creating an organized league in the collegiate ranks. That’s basically the origin of CCE. Our goal is for this dream to be nationwide down the road,” added CCE head organizer Ssein Meneses.
After the 5-on-5 launch in October, CCE envisions an official season by season calendar featuring regular esports players from their respective schools with a shot at catering scholarship programs soon especially with more schools introducing esports courses now.
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