Backed by the Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) ushered in its first Friendship Games with flying colors over the weekend, with Esports as one of the spectacle events.
Ateneo De Manila University ruled the historic tilt, lording over 15 counterparts across the country in sweeping fashion highlighted by a 3-0 win over Perpetual Help College of Pangasinan in the best-of-three finals.
It’s a prelude to an even bigger collegiate esports action next month when CCE officially rolls out Season 1 that will feature student-athletes from different schools.
Cyril Damon Lorenzo, Kyle Christian Calub and Eugene Dela Cruz connived with MVP performances in Ateneo’s dominating victory for the inaugural Esports (Mobile Legends: Bang Bang) crown of the CHED Friendship Games powered by Converge with CCE as official supporter and Galaxy Racer as Esports partner.
Lorenzo’s Wanwan with 11 kills, three deaths ang eight assists led the way for Ateneo in Game 1, Dela Cruz’s Xavier (5-0-12 KDA) then stamped a perfect performance in Game 2 before Calub put on the finishing touches in the clincher with his Valentina (2-0-9 KDA).
“Nilaro lang po namin ‘yung usual na laro namin. Mindset lang po namin na mag-enjoy at happy po nag-champion pa,” said Dela Cruz, living up to CHED’s vision of camaraderie and sportsmanship in the its first Friendship Games that also featured traditional sporting events.
Ateneo needed only less than 40 minutes to finish off the entire series (15 mins in Game 1, 10 mins in Game 2, 11 mins in Game 3) with David Lawrenz Sañejo and Vincent Pajenago also providing solid coverage.
Matthew Ng Fuentes served as the mentor of the potent Ateneo squad that also won in the semifinals over Perpetual Help, which needed to overcome Technological University of the Philippines in the lower bracket finals to arrange a rematch with the eventual champion in the finale.
Kyle F. Matias, Jorros Suba, Rheymond Mariñas, Romrey Jharo Flores, Richard Lumbang and Jhaylord Verdadero comprised the valiant Pangasinan squad with Daniel Fajilan as school director.
Meanwhile, Darryl Tesorero, Allan Jay Gonzales, Gilbert Odon, Francis Gabriel Trambulo and Ray Cyrus Tumpap made up the TUP Taguig team that finished third with John Mark Peñamente as coach.
Also participating in the inaugural CHED Esports tourney were University of Makati, Tarlac State University, Polytechnic College of Botolan from Zambales, Philippine State College of Aeronautics (PhilSCA), Pateros Technological College, Pangasinan State University, Marikina Polytechnic College, Mapua University, Immaculada Concepcion College, Dr. Filemon C. Aguilar Memorial College of Las Piñas, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, Central Luzon State University and Arellano University.
Next month, a different cast led by CCE Varsity Cup champion Lyceum of the Philippines University is set for its own but equally exciting duel in the virtual world when CCE opens Season 1 with Galaxy Racer as its official Esports partner as well.
Joining the fray are San Beda University, Arellano U, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, College of St. Benilde, Mapua U, Jose Rizal U, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta and Emilio Aguinaldo College with Waiyip Chong as CCE commissioner and Stanley Lao as president.