Varsity stars grateful to CCE for bringing the action online

Published August 25, 2021, 3:26 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

The game has changed and the arena has transformed, but the mission remains the same for collegiate athletes aiming to bring pride and glory to their schools, this time in the digital sporting scene amid the pandemic.

Shelved by almost two years now with the continuous hiatus of collegiate sports, Letran’s Fran Yu and Emilio Aguinaldo College’s Kyle Carlos are out to translate their on-court brilliance to the virtual arenas through the newly-formed Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE) – all for the honor of their respective schools.

“Malaking bagay ito na kahit pandemic, may pinagkakaabalahan kami and at the same time, nare-represent namin yung school namin. Nagagawa pa rin naming proud yung school namin,” said Yu, the NCAA Season 95 Finals MVP.

“Para sa akin, privilege siya kahit anong event mo mai-represent yung school mo. Kahit pandemic, nabibigyan pa rin namin sila ng honor,” added Carlos.

Yu and Carlos are among the participants in the historic CCE that already got the ball rolling through the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang 1-on-1 Exhibition Matches, serving as an appetizer for its official 5-on-5 Varsity Cup in October, which will be broadcasted on CALM Network. Rebel Sports Pilipinas is also the league’s official outfitter.

Aside from being true-blooded aces on the court, Yu and Carlos are also avid players off it as long-time gamers starting from their Dota days up to the MLBB boom today.

Carlos, alone, has reached the Mythic 1 level while Yu is currently in Epic 5 after a busy stretch with Zamboanga City in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup. They also livestream their games on social media during their free time.

And while they are playing now without the usual loud crowd in San Juan, the ballers-turned-gamers admitted receiving the same support from their schoolmates. “Nararamdaman pa rin namin yung suporta. Kahit hindi physical dahil sa pandemya, nandyan pa rin yung suporta nila. Hindi mawawala ‘yun,” shared Yu.

Soon though, basketball players will be the ones cheering as regular esports players take their turn once the CCE opens its official season-by-season calendar featuring non-varsity athletes.

“Malaking tulong ito kasi maraming magkakaroon pa ng scholarships at madadagdagan yung athletes na magre-represent sa mga schools,” said Yu.

“Big step ito sa mga gustong makapasok sa esports team. Ngayon pa lang, congratulations na sa mga future esports players natin,” added Carlos.