E-sports gets big boost from PCCL, Mineski pact

The partnership between the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) and e-sports company Mineski Global is expected to give e-sports in the Philippines a big boost.

Photo shows (left to right) PCCL chairman Rey Gamboa, PCCL e-sports president Chot Reyes, and Mineski Global CEO and founder Ronald Robins

PCCL is best known for bringing together leagues such as the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc (CESAFI).

Mineski Global is an e-sports company in Southeast Asia that has a track record of holding e-sports tournaments in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and the rest of the world, thanks to a broad and extensive experience in all aspects of e-sports and gaming since 2004.

“E-sports” encompasses computer gaming, which has been gaining ground as a legitimate and mainstream sports activity with many tournaments held across the globe.

Rey Gamboa, PCCL chairman, said the partnership with Mineski involves more than 200 schools who can now participate in organized e-sports events.

PCCL will offer member schools a chance to participate in the new league and develop their own comprehensive e-sports programs in collaboration with Mineski.

“We now have 200 schools participating in the PCCL. We are looking at 800,000 students and more than 1,000 competitions,” Gamboa said.

Gamboa also said the success of the Philippines in the recent Southeast Asian (SEA) Games was one of the primary reasons for the partnership.

College student and gamer Caviar “Enderr” Acampado took the gold medal in the SEA Games in the “Starcraft II” event. The real-time strategy game is played worldwide and is known as one of the most popular games for tournaments. E-sports was included as a medal sport in the regional event for the first time.

In 2019, PCCL hosted the Digital Games Championship, its maiden foray into e-sports which saw 108 teams from various schools participate. A team from the University of the East won the championship.

Chot Reyes, PCCL e-sports president and one of the most well-known sports personalities in the Philippines, said that “e-sports give options to Filipino students and can even be a rewarding career.”

Reyes, a former national coach, said the Philippines might even win its first Olympic gold medal through e-sports. “The same way basketball grew from the grassroots level, we’re now excited to promote and grow e-sports in the country,” Reyes added.

Ronald Robins, CEO and founder of Mineski Global, said e-sports continues to gain mainstream acceptance. He said many private companies, including financial institutions, have expressed support for the upcoming PCCL e-sports competition.

For this year, Mineski has drawn up a comprehensive schedule of activities to engage students not just in competition but also in training, coaching, and even development of full careers in e-sports. In addition to tournaments, Mineski has drawn up plans for on-campus activities that will help promote careers in esports, responsible gaming and other e-sports-related topics for students.

Already, the First Asian Institute of Technology and Humanities (FAITH) Academy, based in Tanuan, Batangas has been among the pioneers in offering an e-sports curriculum to its students.

A Filipino champion gamer, Robins established Mineski Global and its related business units from an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. He hopes to cultivate this as well among young Filipino gamers.

“There will be a platform for eventual careers as e-sports athletes or within the e-sports ecosystems like game designers, content creators, product managers, event managers, and business developers, to name a few,” he said.

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