CCE, CHED to roll out ‘Friendship Games’

Published June 10, 2022, 11:35 AM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

CCE president Stanley Lao

The collegiate esports scene just got an extra lift in its noble mission to further promote the sport’s relevance, acceptance and excellence – socially and academically.

Ahead of its Season 1 opener, the Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE) recently struck a partnership with the Commission on Higher Education for the first-ever CHED Friendship Games next week that will include esports.

In a time when esports is slowly gaining ground as an internationally-recognized event, CHED’s decision to finally take a look at the booming discipline is certainly a shot in the arm for CCE as one of the sport’s movers.

“It’s our utmost honor and pleasure to be a partner of CHED in championing the students’ role in our society through the booming esports discipline this time around,” said CCE commissioner Waiyip Chong.

“We’re hoping for it to be just the beginning of many more partnerships for the benefit of our student-athletes. With CHED, we’ll work hand-in-hand by putting a premium on the advancement of not just esports but the entire collegiate sports scene,” added CCE president Stanley Lao.

CHED, for its part, is relishing the new venture with an established collegiate esports league like CCE with hopes of maintaining or even strengthening the tie-up in the future.

“After the Friendship Games, I guess the partnership will go on all the way to the National Tertiary Games,” shared CHED sports project head and coach Ana Dulce Yango.

With a theme of “Balik Galaw, Balik Laro, at Palakasan”, CHED Friendship Games will open on June 10 in Marikina City featuring different sports among an array of public and private tertiary schools.

It will serve as a pilot test for the National Tertiary Games that will have 21 sports, a higher education counterpart of the longtime Palarong Pambansa participated by primary and secondary schools all over the country.

Esports, particularly Mobile Legends; Bang Bang, is part of the Friendship Games and hopefully the National Tertiary Games that will serve a step in the right direction for the further promotion and advancement of esports.

CCE, also led by head organizer Ssein Meneses and project manager Kirs Montales, will oversee the esports event of the CHED Friendship Games with Galaxy Racer as its official Esports partner.

CHED’s venture into esports is just the latest development in its meteoric rise after  making its debut as an official medal event in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games held here in Manila and this year in Hanoi, Vietnam – paving the way for its possible inclusion in the official collegiate sports calendar and pipeline down the road.

Academic-wise, it’s also on the right track with more schools beginning to introduce Esports as an official program led by CCE Varsity Cup champion Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU), which ushered in the country’s first Bachelor of Science in Esports degree.

With CCE, and now CHED, on the board, truly the sky’s the only limit for Esports.

The CHED Friendship Games is only the tip of the iceberg for collegiate esports as CCE, with Galaxy Racer also as its official Esports partner, rolls out its Season 1 on June 20.