The Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE) has launched its inaugural Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Varsity Cup (MVC) season featuring student-athletes from 10 schools in Metro Manila.
Participating schools include Arellano University, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Jose Rizal University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Mapua University, University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, San Beda University, and San Sebastian College.
In a press conference on Thursday, CCE President Edwin Chiong said the tournament aims to promote esports and help parents understand its benefits for their children.
"We want to show that students can also do what they love while studying. It's not a mere game. That's our purpose," he said.
"The young people also need the support of their parents. Sa ngayon ang tingin sa esports is a demonic, violent [sport]. We are here now to transform that kind of view from the parents," he added.
After the MVC, CCE plans to launch the first season of the amateur tournament next year with bonafide esports athletes who are expected to be enrolled and under scholarship.
Setsuna "Dogie" Ignacio, one of the more prominent figures in the MLBB professional scene, lauded the efforts of CCE in establishing a grassroots program for esports in the Philippines.
"Maraming pro-player or MLBB player na tumigil sa school kasi sina-sacrifice nila 'yung time nila para sa paglalaro para maging pro-player. Pero dahil dito, di na sila titigil. Mabibigyan sila ng scholarship and chance na makapagtapos," he said.
Over the years, the Philippines has developed into one of the powerhouse countries in Mobile Legends after a gold medal performance in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Bren Esports's M2 World Championship conquest, and Execration's MLBB Southeast Asian Cup success.
The MVC is scheduled to run from November 10 to 21.
—MGP, GMA News