The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), supported by the Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE), successfully launched its maiden Friendship Games over the weekend, with esports serving as one of the main showcase events.
With a 3 to 0 victory over Perpetual Help College of Pangasinan in the best-of-three championship match, Ateneo De Manila University easily defeated its 15 rivals from across the nation.
Next month, when CCE officially launches Season 1, involving student-athletes, it will be the start of even more intense collegiate esports competition. This follows a successful launch last year that featured varsity players.
An overview of Ateneo’s triumph in the CCE and CHED Friendship Games
With CCE serving as the official supporter and Galaxy Racer serving as the Esports partner, Cyril Damon Lorenzo, Kyle Christian Calub, and Eugene Dela Cruz conspired with MVP performances in Ateneo’s resounding victory for the inaugural esports (Mobile Legends: Bang Bang) crown of the CHED Friendship Games, powered by Converge. (The Friendship Games included a variety of conventional sports competitions.)
Ateneo was led by Lorenzo’s Wanwan in Game 1 with 11 kills, three deaths, and eight assists. In Game 2, Dela Cruz’s Xavier (5 to 0 to 12 KDA) continued his immaculate play, and Calub added the final touches with his Valentina (2 to 0 to 9 KDA).
“Nilaro lang po namin ‘yung usual na laro naming [we just played how we usually play]. Mindset lang po namin na mag-enjoy at happy po nag-champion pa [it’s our mindset to just enjoy and we are happy that we became the champion] ,” told Dela Cruz.
With David Lawrenz Saejo and Vincent Pajenago providing strong coverage, Ateneo finished the entire series in less than 40 minutes (15 minutes in Game 1, 10 minutes in Game 2, 11 minutes in Game 3).
The talented Ateneo team, coached by Matthew Ng Fuentes, defeated Perpetual Help in the semifinals and needed to defeat Technological University of the Philippines in the lower bracket finals to set up a rematch with the eventual champion in the championship game.
The TUP Taguig team, led by coach John Mark Pea, was made up of Darryl Tesorero, Allan Jay Gonzales, Gilbert Odon, Francis Gabriel Trambulo, and Ray Cyrus Tumpap.
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, and Central Luzon State University were also competitors in
The brave Pangasinan team included Kyle F. Matias, Jorros Suba, Rheymond Marias, Romrey Jharo Flores, Richard Lumbang, and Jhaylord Verdadero, with Daniel Fajilan serving as school director.
When CCE launches Season 1 with Galaxy Racer as its official Esports partner also, a distinct cast lead by CCE Varsity Cup champion Lyceum of the Philippines University is prepared for its own but equally thrilling duel in the virtual world.
With Waiyip Chong serving as CCE commissioner and Stanley Lao serving as president, San Beda University, Arellano University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, College of St. Benilde, Mapua University, Jose Rizal University, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, and Emilio Aguinaldo College all enter the fray.