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Two-time CCE champs Lyceum provide formula for esports excellence

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Two-time CCE champs Lyceum provide formula for esports excellence
The LPU Pirates in CCE Season 2
Courtesy of CCE

MANILA, Philippines — The LPU Pirates have proved that they are the gold standard for collegiate esports teams as they netted back-to-back crowns in the Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE) Mobile Legends: Bang Bang tournament.

Weeks after ruling Season 2 despite early adversity, LPU athletic director Herc Callanta laid out the blueprint for their success.

The Pirates combined relentless training with competition within their school, which was made possible as they pioneered the country's first-ever Esports academic program.

"Well, the formula is the (preparation). If you actually look at the team, isa lang ‘yung nabawas pero pareho ‘yung quality. They have an Esports club and it’s getting bigger and bigger," said Callanta.

"That’s good because members of the clubs exactly enrich the culture inside with regular competitions. The formula is to get the club bigger and try to get as many players in every Esport, in every event that is needed. That's what gives you an enriched Esports program," he added.

Even with more challenges to their bid this year, the Pirates were still able to pull off the title in Season 3 of CCE, where they capped off a dominant run with a 3-1 reverse sweep of the Letran Cyberknights in the tournament presented by Galaxy Racer and Smart, with SM Mall of Asia, Cyberzone, Legion by Lenovo, Mountain Dew, Hawk Bags, Fantech, Huawei AppGallery as sponsors, and MPL-Philippines serving as an official partner.

With Merlin “MERL1N” Lintan serving as the only new guy in the intact Pirates squad, they encountered some resistance compared to a near sweep of Season 1 but still sailed to the “Promised Land” to maintain stature as the barometer in Philippine collegiate Esports scene.

Lintan connived with skipper Paul Adrienne “FAE” Huang, Ralph Joshua “Alas” Araz, Remarch “Lust” Eusebio, Janouel Louie “Lheizy” Lomerio and Marc Joseph “Marc” Balcita in providing coverage for now two-time Season MVP Mark Kenneth “Mark” Delos Reyes.

LPU also employs a "holistic approach" to help their esports athletes develop in the booming esports discipline.

"Ang maganda rin sa program ng LPU. They’re always asking what can be enhanced in terms of players’ abilities and competitiveness by way of also physical training. Kasama na lahat. It’s a holistic program," added Callanta. "I’m very happy that the school and the college are very recipient and supportive in terms of having LPU involved in Esports. They see the value of it."

Still, Callanta admitted that it wasn't exactly the goal for LPU to rule the esports scene when they established the Bachelor of Science in Esports program, featuring tracks in both esports management and game and design development.

It is, however, a great bonus.

"It’s a testimony to the good program that LPU has with respect to Esports. I know that the program in LPU is aimed at producing those who are at the backstage but the good thing is despite that, we’re producing good players, which actually augurs well for the end users," Callanta explained, referring to the digital and technology professionals its program is set to produce.

As pioneers in the field, LPU expressed willingness to help other institutions in the country to develop the same program with the two-edge goal of thriving in the esports gaming scene, and develop professional career paths that await esports athletes beyond the virtual arenas.

"The program is very agile. The changes come as needed. It’s very versatile. I’m very happy and I will endorse the program to everyone who wants to be in Esports," Callanta concluded.

When CCE Season 3 rolls around, though, the Pirates will still seek to steer their ship to the top of the competition.

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