Collegiate Center for Esports champion Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirate Esports relished a golden opportunity to strut its stuff in the country’s biggest virtual arena.
LPU, through an exclusive invitation by the Philippine Esports Organization (PESO), was among the few amateur squads selected in the Sibol National Team Selection qualifiers for the country’s representative in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games Mobile Legends: Bang Bang men’s division in Cambodia in May.
Led by coach and team captain Paul Adrienne “FAE” Huang, the back-to-back CCE champion poured everything it had even against a slew of professional squads led by powerhouse squads Blacklist International and Echo Esports.
Blacklist is the three-time MPL Philippines champion on top of a crown in the M3 World Championships while Echo Esports is the reigning world champion after sweeping the former in the All-Filipino M4 World Championships finale this month in Indonesia.
And while LPU may have fallen short of advancing in the tournament featuring the country’s Esports giants, the Pirates gained valuable lessons that they are expected to carry over to the collegiate scene.
Amidst a gallant stand from the Pirates bannered by back-to-back CCE MVP Mark Kenneth “Mark” Delos Reyes, Marc Joseph “Marc” Balcita, Remarch “Lust?” Eusebio, Ralph Joshua “Alas” Araz, and Merlin “MERL1N” Lintan, would fall at the hands of AP Esports with a 2-0 defeat in the quarterfinals.
Bren Esports won the Sibol qualifiers with its coach Francis “Duckeyyy” Glindro earning the chance to call the shots and select his squad from the semifinalists that also included Echo, Onic Philippines, and GameLab for the Philippines’ SEA Games roster.
The Sibol qualifiers were LPU’s second stint outside the collegiate ranks as the Pirates continue to test the waters and sharpen its saw in further advancing the sport within the academe, thanks to the school’s stature as the home to the country’s first academic Esports program.
LPU last time out made it to the semifinals of the historic MPS Southeast Asian Campus Invitational Summer 2022 which was won by Ateneo’s Loyola Gaming Helios.
As for the CCE with Stanley Lao as president and Waiyip Chong as commissioner, Sibol’s participation is another feather in its cap after steadily rising as the staple organizer of major collegiate Esports tournaments highlighted by the CCE University Clash, SEA Invitationals and the Friendship Games of the Commission on Higher Education.
“We are gracious for the acknowledgment that the PESO has given CCE and we hope to inspire more colleges and universities in the country to follow suit and embrace esports as a legitimate sport,” said Lao.
Up next for CCE is Season 3 of its own, proud league.
CCE currently has LPU, Letran, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Mapua, San Beda University, Arellano, Jose Rizal University, Emilio Aguinaldo College, College of St. Benilde and University of Perpetual Help System-DALTA as its pioneer members with hopes of expansion this year after gaining massive interest from other schools.