New avenue opens for esports aspirants with ‘CCE’

A new dawn arrives in the Philippine collegiate sports scene with the birth of the Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE), aimed to create an avenue for the Filipino youth aspiring to find their niche in the booming online games industry.

The newly-established institution serves as home to an organized collegiate league nationwide as an adaptation to the ever-changing sports landscape in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CCE has plotted an official five-on-five Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Varsity Cup launch among renowned basketball athletes in October but an appetizer of 1-on-1 Exhibition Match is set for kickoff this weekend to get the ball rolling in this new collegiate sports venture.

NCAA Season 95 Finals MVP Fran Yu of basketball champion Letran banners the loaded cast for the prelude CCE event along with Mapua’s Warren Bonifacio, University of Perpetual Help’s Jasper Cuevas, San Sebastian’s Michael Are and San Beda’s Damie Cuntapay.

Also in the fray are Lyceum’s Yancy Remulla, Jose Rizal U’s Jan Marc Abaoag, Emilio Aguinaldo College’s Kyle Carlos, College of St. Benilde’s Carlo Lim and Arellano’s Kai Oliva.

Curtains will open on Saturday, August 14 with an exciting double-header pitting Arellano and JRU followed by a collision between St. Benilde and San Beda. On Sunday, a loaded triple header will feature matches between Lyceum-EAC, San Sebastian-Perpetual and Letran-Mapua.

Online entertainment channel CALM Network will serve as the tournament’s official broadcaster.

“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.

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 decade.

From audience to distinctions, the Philippines alone has cemented its place as among the 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.