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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Collegiate esports: All eyes on Pirates

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Competition is bound to get stiffer for the Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE) Season 3 set for May with all the 10 teams looking to beef up their squads.

All eyes will still be on Lyceum of the Philippines University which ruled the first two seasons of the country’s fastest-growing collegiate Esports league as it seeks to complete a three-peat.

The Pirate Esports squad got valuable experience after representing the CCE in the Sibol National Team Selection qualifiers last January as they tried to earn their place as the country’s representative in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games Mobile Legends: Bang Bang men’s division.

Defending champs Lyceum Pirates still wear the top dog tag even as other teams beef up for the third season of the country’s premier collegiate esports tournament.

Lyceum was one of the few amateur squads to get an invite to the tourney.

Led by coach and team captain Paul Adrienne “FAE” Huang and back-to-back CCE MVP Mark Kenneth “Mark” Delos Reyes, LPU gave its all before falling to AP Esports in the quarterfinals.

But despite the Pirate Esports setting the standard, it doesn’t mean that the field is just easy for their taking.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran made an amazing turnaround in Season 2, finishing as runner-up behind the efforts of Kurt “Xeero” Pugao and Jade “ImbaDeeJade” Mercado after the Cyberknights’ forgettable run in the inaugural season.

Arellano University and Jose Rizal University have also made great strides in the past staging, while Season 1 runner-up San Sebastian College-Recoletos remains a tough draw.

“It’s humbling to see how the schools have embraced Esports and we’re just glad to be part of its growth in the academe,” said CCE president Stanley Lao, who is supported by commissioner Waiyip Chong and general manager Jesse Nocom.

Local qualifiers are already ongoing among schools in search of the best Esports athletes that their campus can produce to represent their school in the tilt supported by Galaxy Racer and Smart, with SM Mall of Asia, Cyberzone, Legion by Lenovo, Mountain Dew, Hawk Bags, Fantech, Huawei AppGallery as sponsors, and MPL-Philippines serving as an official partner.

Mapua University already held its qualifiers during its 98th Foundation Day with Prodigy emerging as champions, while College of St. Benilde, Emilio Aguinaldo College, San Beda University, and the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA are all gearing up to fare better come Season 3.

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